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I just wanted him to make the bed. That’s all. I didn’t want him to do laundry or wash dishes or buy groceries –just make the bed. But for a few decades of marriage he did not.
Every morning I quietly fumed and silently ranted.
You’re the last one out of the bed. Why can’t you make it? How hard is it, really?
Saying ugly things in my mind that I would never say to his face.
And there, making the bed every morning, God transformed the rant into a quiet complaint and then miraculously into an adoration of my husband.
It was not the man who needed to change. It was me.
Ten Actions You Can Take if You Wish Your Man Would Change:
- Beware your expectation that your husband be perfect. (That is the core problem, isn’t it? Highly unfair.)
- Toss the “serve me” mentality and replace it with an “I will serve you.”
- Take the gospel to the annoyance. Remember, you annoyed God –were his enemy even –and he chose to love you while you were unchanged. (See Romans 5:8.) We should mirror the same grace to our husbands.
- If your husband is well-intentioned toward you, let that truth override the petty areas where you find him lacking.
- Annoyance and gratitude can’t fill the same space. When that pet peeve strikes again, make a list of 10 ways your man is awesome, and see if those bitter thoughts don’t dissipate. (My man has called me every day for two decades, just to say he loves me and to see how my day is going. And he lets me cry whenever I am so inclined. And he is an awesome dad. And he works hard and never fails to bring home a paycheck. And he makes our home a fun place. And he has impeccable integrity. And he has never once lied to me in our entire married life. And… It’s a long, long list, which makes you want to say to me, Girl, what in the world are you complaining about the unmade bed for?)
- Consider his perspective. (When the bed was unmade, I felt like Matt didn’t love me enough to make it. The truth was he just never thought about making the bed.)
- To pray or to hound him? Choose prayer. We cannot succeed in nagging a man into being perfect. Be quiet toward your husband and speak much to God, starting first with prayers regarding your own attitude. When your attitude toward your husband is perfectly in line with the humble attitude of Christ, then you may start praying about your husband changing.
- Start verbally thanking your man for the things he does well.
- Thank God you have a husband.
- Obey Paul’s words to “Do everything without grumbling.” (Philippians 2:14 NIV) Do marriage without grumbling.
Now the surprise ending to my story. This last year my husband attended a Bible study called Men’s Fraternity (highly recommended by every wife I know!) At the end of the study, all of the men made a rather secret-clubbish “man plan”, which none of them would talk about with us wives. Evidently, my husband made a commitment to make the bed, because I haven’t made the bed since the day that man plan was due. If I try to make it, he hollers at me and says, Hey, that’s my job now.
Isn’t this how God works in a woman’s life –bringing us to a place of humility, servitude, obedience, and love before he will even consider giving us what it is we really desire.
Are you willing to work through the list?