This is an email I received from a young woman named Sarah recently: “I am a young newlywed. I don’t have any older women in my life that can give me biblical advice. That’s why I’m writing to you and I hope that’s alright. Being married is all new to me and it’s not as easy as I thought it would be. I really did put hope in God helping me but I keep failing. And having to live with my mother-in-law is not easy.
“My husband and I have recently been having fights every time he gets off work. He is very critical of me and I’m very sensitive. I have no thick skin. I start to act hurt and that’s how the fights starts. How can I get a thicker skin?
“I feel the sadness fill my whole body and I can’t help crying. My husband doesn’t like my crying and many times I feel like I’ve done nothing wrong. He seems to try to put me down. I do clean our home everyday and I cook for him.”
I can relate to this woman. I thought I was a submissive, godly wife to my husband since I cleaned our home, cooked for him, and was even available for him sexually, but I was extremely sensitive and easily offended. If my husband said or did something I didn’t like, I would get angry and cry. I would stomp upstairs and wait for him to apologize no matter who was at fault. It was definitely a manipulation tool that I didn’t completely realize at the time. It certainly didn’t draw my husband to myself. Men get tired of seeing their wives in tears over every wrong that they perceive. We married imperfect men. We’re imperfect. It’s learning to accept him as he is and not trying to change him. That’s God’s job!
Our husbands aren’t going to treat us exactly as we want them to treat us. Women struggle with their emotional nature and this is something that we must learn to control if we want a better marriage. Being led by our emotions gets us nowhere. When a husband doesn’t treat his wife the way she wants to be treated or says something that offends her, the quicker she learns not to react but to give it up to the Lord, the better. This makes for a much more peaceful marriage.
We must also remember that it takes two to fight, Sarah. It takes only one to not fight. Be the one not to fight. State your opinion in a kind way and then let it go. You don’t have to be right and you don’t even have to try to make your husband understand you completely. He is a male and you are a female. This alone keeps you from understanding each other perfectly. But it’s God’s design and it’s good.
Whenever he tries to put you down, ping those comments off of your shield of faith straight up to God. Don’t allow them to steal your joy. You will never develop a “tough skin” if you allow your emotions to control you. You’ll continually be like a ping pong ball – up if he’s treating you right and down if he’s not. Living with a person who gets easily offended isn’t easy. It’s like having to walk on eggshells with them. You don’t want him to walk on eggshells around you, right?
Lastly, Sarah, don’t try to find your value and worth from your husband. Find these things in knowing who you are in Christ. Grow up in Him! Spend daily time in His Word, memorize verses, and pray daily for your husband. You can’t change him but you can change you by allowing the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to transform you into the godly woman that He wants you to be. Then you can stand strong against anything your husband says to you and not allow it to affect you because you will remind yourself that God is good and His plan for you is good. He loves you and has saved you.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5