Have you found yourself utterly frustrated with your husband because he seems to be in direct opposition with you most of the time?
You say “let’s go out,” he says “let’s stay in.” You want to parent with structure, his parenting style is more laissez-faire. You want to enjoy holidays surrounded by family and friends and he wants to relax in solitude (a.k.a The Man Cave).
Finding middle ground can be a challenge.
Training To Love Our Husbands
Now I could highlight strategies for interacting with your husband that would relieve these frustrations. I can just hear you saying…whaaat? That’s why you’re here, right?! Don’t worry, I will be doing that later in this post.
However, I really want to take a few minutes to dig a little deeper into the core cause of what’s happening when we are frustrated with our opposite-typed spouses. I like to look at what scripture for guidance:
“and so train the young women to love their husbands and children…”-Titus 2:4
Have you ever wondered why this particular scripture commands that the younger women be trained to love their husbands and children? (For the purposes of this conversation, we will just focus on the husbands:)
Are you thinking…how can you “train” someone to love another person? Doesn’t that just happen? Don’t we just feel love?
Or perhaps you’re thinking that women naturally love their spouses and therefore have no need for training in that department.
Well, if you don’t mind I’d like to share with you some of my thoughts on the topic and then later share a few practical tips that have worked in my own marriage on how to love your husband through these specific challenges.
Can I just started off by saying that love is not solely based on feelings.
What I mean to point out with that statement is we don’t always experience joyous fluttery feelings for someone. That doesn’t mean that we don’t love them. When we get angry with someone, we still love the person, we simply didn’t appreciate a decision that they made (or didn’t make).
When we are not happy or in love with someone during these times of great frustration, then it becomes all about how we interact with them at that moment. That would mean it’s about our actions.
Are we loving and kind in our actions?
Probably not as frequently as we would like.
It’s okay if you haven’t always shown love through your actions. That is the beauty of God’s grace to us. We accept His grace and extend it to others. That would include ourselves…and then we keep moving forward. So we are going to do just that right now.
What I would like for you to linger in though is this idea of ACTIONS. How our actions demonstrate love.
Have you ever been in a situation with your husband where you were actually standing there trying to decide whether or not you should say something? I know I have. Those are the moments when we are trying to determine what’s appropriate. We are trying to make the best decision in the midst of a situation and we are probably trying to respond in the most loving way possible, based on the circumstance.
This is where the “training” comes into play.
Teaching young women to love their husbands means that they are to be coached on how to operate in a loving way.
Directing them to the Bible for scripture on how to encourage and uplift one another. If our words are not encouraging and uplifting then perhaps simply supportive listening is the warranted response.
I hope this discussion helps to illuminate the fact that we aren’t just born knowing how to demonstrate love, because the Bible teaches us that there is a need for training. Also, I hope that in knowing the need for training exists, it helps us understand that love is not just a feeling, but that it is conveyed through our actions, or lack thereof respectively.
Demonstrating Love To Your Opposite Husband
An age-old adage tells us that opposites attract. In my marriage, nothing could be truer. My husband and I are literally like night and day.
I used to joke and say that, if I said the sky was blue, he would say it’s aqua. We seem to see just about everything from a completely different perspective.
Early in our marriage, I thought that these differences were cute. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening! As the years passed by those differences became real points of contention. Big issues such as parenting, finances, employment, housing, and even our own views about marriage were topics for heated battles.
Now that we have over 20 years of marriage under our belts, I can happily tell you that we have been able to ward off most of those unpleasant conversations.
So here’s my list of the five practical ways that helped me learn to demonstrate love to my opposite husband.
Tip #1. Let go of having to be right
Can I just say that this was the biggest game changer for me. When I finally figured out that my marriage is not a battlefield and my husband is not my opponent, I could let go of my chronic need to be right. We are ONE flesh. When he loses, I lose. It really was just that simple. When that reaaaally set in and took hold, I understood what “tearing down your house with your own hands” meant.
Tip #2. Read and understand your Bible
Staying in your Bible will provide you with the training necessary to have the correct response. Let’s face it, many times we know how or what we should be doing to demonstrate love, but will often time forget in moments of immersion, such as heated conversations.
I mention “understanding” in this tip because if you are anything like me, you have heard scripture being quoted growing up, at church, and by family and friends. This has caused me to not pay close attention to what’s really being conveyed at times, thinking that I know it. Going back over God’s word with eager eyes and an open mind ready for understanding has revealed so many treasures that have sincerely blessed my life.
Staying in the Word of God not only provides us with supplication but it also keeps His guidance in the forefronts of our minds.
It keeps us accountable and knowledgeable which in turn helps us to demonstrate love for our oh-so-different spouses.
Tip #3. Understanding your purpose
When I had the epiphany that I mentioned earlier in tip #1, it was because I had been indulging in tip #2, which helped me get to tip #3 (I don’t know why, but that was just fun to write!). I was able to understand my purpose.
Have you ever noticed how happy and peaceful your life is when you operate in your purpose? If you are married then that is a big part of your purpose. Your marriage represents the relationship that Christ has with the Church. There can not be a more honorable purpose than that!
When that revelation hits you, it can be quite difficult to going back to arguing with your husband over differences of viewpoints.
Tip #4 Reverence your husband
The Bible tells us “and let the wife see that she respects her husband” – Ephesians 5:33. This is the key ingredient to loving a husband that is completely opposite in his thinking.
Can you truly appreciate a different viewpoint from yours? I know it’s not always easy, but it’s necessary in order to demonstrate love in our actions. I know you have appreciated many different viewpoints in your lifetime, including your husbands. I don’t think you’d be married to that handsome guy of yours if you hadn’t.
So remember that when you are feeling frustrated with a decision that he is making contrary to what you believe. Our calling is to respect our husbands, admire him, have compassion for him, and to be his help-meet.
We can find joy in doing our part because we love our God and it pleases Him to operate in alignment with His order. In turn, we find sincere happiness in our husbands’ differences and can appreciate them.
Tip #5. Cultivate a quiet and gentle spirit
Okay, for the final tip, I’m going to share something that I’m not overly proud of with you. I DO NOT naturally possess a quiet and gentle spirit. I remember when I first saw that passage in the Bible and thought, that is the furthermost description imaginable from my personality.
I’m outspoken, opinionated, passionate, loud, and sometimes outright obnoxious.
However, after sitting with and understanding the context of the scripture I realized that Peter is talking about adornments. Things that can be “put on.”
Take a look…
”do not let your adorning be external-braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear- but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit when in God’s sight is very precious.” -1 Peter 3:3-4
Therefore, having a quiet and a gentle spirit is accomplishable. I can CHOOSE it…What great news!
So how does this help you to love your opposite husband? Well, remember earlier we discussed how our actions demonstrate love? Cultivating a quiet and gentle spirit demonstrates our love.
There is no easy way to say this but sometimes, we just have to be quiet. Sometimes, we don’t need to share our opposing opinions. And when we do feel strongly about sharing our opinions, remembering that they are best served with a little honey, can go a long way.
So how do you cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit? It takes practice. Start with small things that you may have an opinion about but they are not the major pet-peeves in your marriage. You may start out by sharing your opinion, but remember that this is something that you are committed to working on and choose either to let it go or share your opinion seasoned with love. Soon you will be in the practice of not feeling the urge to share your viewpoint on every topic. You’ll feel more like one flesh.
Wrapping It Up
I don’t know about you but I always feel so much better about myself when I discover that a skill necessary for my success is obtainable. If I can learn it then I don’t have to feel anxiety about it.
So imagine my relief to learn that we are to be taught to love our families. Not necessarily the feelings of love but what it looks like when demonstrated in our everyday lives. The Bible is jam-packed with how-to’s on love…it’s one big love story to be quite honest.
I’m hoping that you find these five tips helpful in curbing any anxiety or frustrations that you may be experiencing with your opposite-typed husband. My prayer is that we all recognize that our marriages glorify God as symbolic representations of Christ’s relationship with the church (His people). What a special and magnificent honor that is!
It is my deepest hope that this information has blessed you in some way. If you know of anyone that would be inspired or encouraged by this message, please share.
Don’t forget to download the FREE 28 tips and ideas for serving your family and community, Love Your Homemaking Ministry Guide at the bottom of this page!
Blessings, and Happy Homemaking!