I’m so excited that today I get to unveil Christian Wife University as a contributor site! What you’ll see here are many voices, but one message- the pursuit of a thriving, Christ-centered, marriage!
When I think of CWU as being a contributor site I view each post like a devotional from various wives. Often times we need to be encouraged in our role as a wife, or we need to be equipped in it, or inspired to move beyond complacency or despair. Here in this space, me and my team of gals are going to walk with you! Each woman striving for a Christ-centered marriage. Each woman being emptied of self so she could be filled with the Spirit. Each woman striving to have her marriage impact her family and the world around her. A sister speaking to another sister about wifehood. (My husband doesn’t think wifehood is a word, but I do. If it’s not in the dictionary, I’ll coin it because wifehood is a thing!) Anyways, I hope you are blessed by this new shift in the ministry!
Without further ado, here’s Kaylene sharing about being an enjoyable wife.
Live a poured out life for Christ,
When we were newly married, I had high ideals. Just like every other young bride, I was excited about life and on fire for our future.
Soon however, real life settled in and it wasn’t quite the lifelong honeymoon I had imagined.
As luck would have it, my perfect groom just happened to be human. Shame on him for that!
Instead of extending grace, I chose to become bitter and begrudgeful. I pocketed his offenses and pulled them out whenever I needed to use them against him.
It wasn’t long until we were spiraling out of control. There were many hurtful words being spoken. Many emotions and feelings were being played and displayed. There was anger, disappointment and disgust. There was the pity party, the silent treatment and threats of leaving.
Life wasn’t fun.
That was just it. I wanted fun. I wanted to enjoy life. Mostly, I wanted to be enjoyed. I wanted to laugh and laugh with, instead of cry and cry over.
Falling to my knees in desperation, I cried out to God for help. There I was gently convinced that if I wanted to experience joy in our marriage, I would need to grow more enjoyable. Slowly, I started realizing that to grow more enjoyable, I would need let God change me. I was the only one I could allow to be changed. I was the only one I could be responsible for to positively impact my marriage.
The Ways of an Enjoyable Wife
1. The first thing God laid on my heart was that I needed to forgive my husband more freely.
Colossians 3:13 “Bear with one another and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
I don’t do so well with forgiving. My husband didn’t deserve it.
But I did.
I deserved to be set free of the pain that was allowing me to form grudges and become a bitter, angry person.
I deserved to be set free of the bondage that gave me a free ticket to less joy.
Dragging grievances and grudges along, ready to throw them at my husband whenever he needed to be reminded of his humanity, was tiring. Exhausting, in fact.
Letting go of those things little by little, relieved my own heart first. Then it released my husband from the pressure and fear of never measuring up to my expectations.
Forgiveness lightened the load of our marriage and allowed us to let our guard down a bit more and we learned to enjoy life with each other.
2. The next thing, God had me consider was to live in the present day.
Ecclesiastes 7:10 “Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such things.”
Isaiah 43:18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”
Dwell is an interesting word. It means to live in, or make one’s home in a certain place.
What we dwell upon, soon becomes our mind’s home. Our mind’s home soon becomes evident in our words and actions.
Two reasons it is unwise to dwell on the past are;
(a) when we long for the ‘good old days’ over our current day, we become regretful and discontent,
(b) dwelling on past wrongs develops bitterness toward one another.
3. Tying in with number two, God showed me that He has given each of us a controllable mind.
Not only are we encouraged to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, but we are also given the power to choose what we think.
Putting purposeful thinking into practice, deliberately choosing to think on things that are true, honorable and right. (Philippians 4:8), is very wise and liberating.
We become more gracious and understanding when we direct our thinking. Forgiveness becomes much more practical. Life, in general, becomes much more worthwhile and liveable.
God doesn’t intend for us to go about our lives sad faced or downcast. He wants us to enjoy life. Ecclesiastes 9:9 says “Enjoy life with your wife[spouse], whom you love”. (brackets mine)
More importantly, our goal should be to become the spouse whom life can be enjoyed with.
Trading in self inclined thoughts and attitudes for more Christ-like ones will result in just that; an enjoyable wife, a compliment to the marriage union.
Such a woman is truly a joy to be around.
The choice is ours.
Kaylene Yoder – @KayleneYoder.com