Yes, you read the title correctly: 7 things to do if you don’t want your marriage to work.
For all intents and purposes, I will tell you now that this post is meant to be funny and serious. It’s actually in honor of Bryan and I celebrating our 5th anniversary.
In five short years we have managed to overcome hurdles and obstacles that would send most people to the nearest divorce lawyer. And that is why I want to humorously share 7 things to do if you DON’T want your marriage to work.
You should also know up front that I have done all seven of the following things, and some. I also am still actively overcoming some of these things. So, I’m not coming from a place of having it all together, let alone having all the answers.
You’re about to read real life, genuine accounts of how I’ve done my fair share of messing my marriage up – big time. And, I’ll also share how even the most jacked up marriage is still worthy of hanging on to and saving. Here we go…
1 – Nag & Complain
Why can’t he/she just…
When will he/she…
Ugh, if only things were like…
Can you just…
And on, and on, and on. You know wanna know something? I had NO idea how much I nagged and complained until Bryan just came on out and said this one day, “Will you please just stop nagging and complaining ALL the time?” At the time it made me nag and complain even more.
But then I realized that my children were starting to nag and complain, and boy was that a big wake up call. I’m teaching my children how to be discontent. I’m teaching my children how to react in their flesh. WOW!
Leave it to Proverbs 21:9 to tell it best – It is better to dwell in a corner of a roof, than in a house shared with a contentious woman. Deep down none of us women want to be that woman. The woman who brings upon the strife or controversy. The woman who’s husband can’t reason with her.
Instead of nagging and complaining, let’s vow to be women who will see circumstances and situations from a different perspective – through the eyes of the Father. Perhaps then will we be quick to hear, but slow to speak, and definitely slow to anger.
2 – Miscommunicate
Just yell it all out. Or better yet, hold it all in. Perhaps you should just play a game of emotional charades. Yeah, that’ll work.
Miscommunication is probably the number one issue in marriages. We gain a partner and all is well until you start bumping heads. And then you start to notice things that weren’t so visible when the butterflies were fluttering.
Us ladies would love for our men to be mind readers while men are desperately wanting us to just come on out and say what’s up.
There have been many a days when I wanted Bryan to come ask me what’s wrong so I could feel comfortable to talk about it. When he didn’t, boy would I lose it. It would first begin with a pouty face. When that didn’t work, I’d add a stomp to my walk. And when those didn’t work, I’d revert to shutting and putting objects down… a little rough.
Then all of that would turn into spoken words that shouldn’t have been said, nor thought for that matter. These moments also help show what’s really within. Those things hiding deep in the heart.
So if Proverbs couldn’t already step on my toes, it slapped me with 21:19 – It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and vexed woman. Ha! So not only does it call out the contentious woman, but now the vexed. In other words, it’s calling out the irritated and annoyed woman.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still slip in this area, but I have good ole Proverbs to help out again. In Proverbs 15:1 we read – A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up displeasure. Simply put, make it a point to establish healthy communication – earlier than later.
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3 – Disrespect Your Spouse
Don’t submit. Over step your husbands authority. Dress to impress other men. Don’t love your wife. Abuse your role as head of the household. And let’s all see how far you get.
Scripture is so clear on this issue but for some reason it’s still difficult to grasp at times.
I remember thinking to myself that I could do things better like run the household, be the provider, make all the decisions, and more – all at the same time. And, yeah, no. I understand now more than ever why YHVH established gender roles.
As women we are to be worthy of respect (1 Timothy 3:11), and as wives are to submit to our husbands (Ephesians 5:22). Of course this seems much easier when the husband is loving his wife as Messiah loved the assembly, but then there’s the promise of 1 Peter 3:1 – “In the same way, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that if any are disobedient to the Word, they, without a word, might be won by the behavior of their wives.
Another trap with disrespecting your spouse is the tearing down of character, confidence, and self-worth that comes along with it. When I paid much less attention to how I was disrespecting Bryan, I couldn’t see how it tore him down. But, there came a time when I had to admit that disrespecting him (especially with my words) pierced like a sword.
Now, I make it a point to have the tongue of the wise because it is healing (Proverbs 12:18).
4 – Don’t Offer Support
New job! Yeah, so what?
I found a better way to… Okay, whatever.
I think it’s time for us to… I don’t think so.
Fill in the blanks and add whatever you like, but the moral to this point is that we will all encounter times where our spouse needs nothing more than our support. Maybe the new job isn’t what you wanted him/her to have. Perhaps making a life change doesn’t sound like something you want to get on board with.
So what? If it’s not life threatening or damaging, then it goes back to seeing things from a different perspective. What if that new job means more time at home? Or what if the life change means being more healthy?
Not being supportive is another way to tear our spouses down, so instead, let’s seek ways to encourage them. May our support be as Proverbs 25:11 describes – “A word spoken at the right time is like apples of gold in settings of silver.“
5 – Be Selfish
Just worry about yourself and what’s in your best interest. Don’t consider your spouse or children when living your life.
Every single time I even tiptoe into selfishness, all heck breaks loose! The kids start getting [extra] on my nerves, simple things Bryan does annoys me, and I seem to get super frustrated about everything!
The issue is me. Me. Me. Me. Me. ME. Plus, it doesn’t help that I have a “I want it done now” kind of personality. So if I’m working on something for our business, I want to do it [all] now. If there’s a post I want to make, I want to do it now. Now. Now. NOW.
Sounds like a toddler, doesn’t it? I have no problems admitting that it’s very childish of me to be so selfish. But being this way will not get anyone anywhere except frustrated and hurting others.
Don’t worry, Scripture deals with this too, telling us in Philippians 2:3 – “doing none at all through selfishness or self-conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.“ If we are being selfish, we must admit that we’re also being inconsiderate.
To fix it, perhaps we can meditate on what follows in Philippians 2:4 – “Each one should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Sounds simple enough, right? Not so much, but it starts with choosing to consider the interests of others every chance we get.
6 – Try to Fix Your Spouse
Anyone that’s been married beyond the “honeymoon stage” will get a good laugh out of this one. Go ahead and try to fix your spouse. Let me know how that works out for you.
Let’s go through our list of subconscious (and conscious) things we do to attempt to change our spouse:
Yeah, none of that works, nor will it ever work – at least how we think it will. I’ve come to realize that trying to “fix” Bryan means that I don’t want to fix me.
This is the one area where it is okay to be selfish… in a sense that you are willing to look in the mirror and say, “Change ME, Abba. Show me what’s wrong with ME.”
When we are more focused on our character aligning up with how YHVH ordained it to be, we aren’t focused on what we think needs to be changed in our spouse. Instead of pointing out the flaws in your spouse, learn to put yourself under the microscope.
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7 – Don’t Pray
You have all the power to make your marriage work. No help from YHVH is needed. No need to talk to Him about the very relationship that He put together from the beginning.
Nope. And don’t forget to ignore the Scriptures that tell you how to be the wife you need to be. Oh, and don’t bother getting with Nancy over there who has been married 30+ years. What does she know?
All giggles aside, this is probably the most important piece in the marriage puzzle. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dropped the ball because of overlooking this step.
There were times when I should’ve been quiet, more self-controlled, and went straight to Abba. Instead, I opted for harsh words, threats, and unloving actions. And even still, Bryan loved me.
There are times when all we can do is pray. And in these moments we can remember Philippians 4:6 – “Do not worry at all, but in every matter, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to Elohim.“
But even when we find ourselves in the midst of all things going seemingly perfect, we should still pray. Remember 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 – “pray without ceasing, in all circumstances give thanks, for this is the desire of Elohim in Messiah יהושע for you.”
Never forget that, in this case, it is okay to go over your spouses head and pour out your heart to the Father. He knows us better than we know ourselves, so surely we can find contentment in knowing that He also knows our spouse better than we do!
What to DO If You WANT Your Marriage to Work
Marriage is hard work. There’s no doubt about it. Although we may miss the mark at times, it’s all about actively trying to hit the mark. It’s totally doable.
Here are seven things to do if you want your marriage to work:
- Don’t give up.
- Choose Biblical love.
- Honor your spouse.
- Protect your marriage.
- Honor your vows.
- Don’t lose hope.
Well, beloved, if you have read this far, please know that you are awesome and amazing. And before you go, I want to pray over your marriage:
Heavenly Father, I am praying for the wife (or husband) who is reading this right now.
I ask that You would strengthen her (or him) and help her (or him) walk out
the role that you set forth for wives and husbands.
Abba, I ask that You enable her/his marriage to thrive. Help them to refrain
from reacting emotionally and face any conflicts with hopes of
seeing the growth opportunity moments.
Help the husband to live in such a way that the enemy does not
have a stronghold from which to attack their family. Help the wife
be the helpmeet that she was created to be, with no complaining.
When obstacles do arise, let peace dominate and preserve the
sanctity of their relationship, intimacy of their communication
and love of the truth. Shower their marriage with
wisdom and discernment.
In Yeshua’s Name, AMEN!
CHIME IN: What are some marriage tips that have helped you along the way? Please share in the comments below!
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