For 24 years, I have been happily married to a man who cherishes me. So when I write for Club31Women, I have the perspective of a healthy, fulfilling marriage.
Often I hear from readers, though, who say, “What about me?” There are many women who are struggling in marriage and who feel unloved and not cared for.
Let me start by saying I’m sorry, sister. I’m really sorry for your wounded heart and for the struggle you’re having.
Will you let me write to you from my experience as a pastor’s wife and also as the wife of a licensed professional counselor? My husband and I have known a long line of unhappy wives.
One thing I know is that you cannot change anything on your husband’s side of the relationship.
You can only control your side of things and exert influence through your own actions, so let me offer three steps you can take that have the potential to transform your marriage.
Three Loving Steps for the Wife Who Feels Unloved
First, you must believe the gospel of Christ.
Paul says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
Christ can make people new, so pray that Christ will step into your husband’s life and make him a new person with a new heart that can love you. We cannot go inside our husband’s hearts and make him into a new person. Any wife who has tried to change her husband knows this is futile. Only Christ can change the heart of a man.
If you stop believing that your husband can change, that means you’ve stopped believing Christ has power to change people.
So wives must remain hopeful in Christ.
Second, settle in for the long haul and be willing to wait on the Lord.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)
How long will you have to wait before God works in your husband’s life? I have no idea. I know a friend who waited decades before her husband chose to follow Christ and their marriage started to improve.
Waiting requires a backbone of faith. You’ll have to be strong and take heart.
Imagine the silent message you are sending to your husband as you wait, though. You are quietly saying to him, “I will wait for good to happen in your life. I will wait for you to know the love of God. I will have patience while Christ works in your life.”
Third, you need to show respect for the man.
In Ephesians 5:33, Paul says, “The wife must respect her husband.”
This command is wonderfully separate from a woman’s emotions and also separate from a man’s actions. No matter how you feel and no matter how he acts, you are to show him respect. Have you been obedient to this command from Scripture?
Do you speak to him with respect? Do you talk about him to your friends with respect? Does your body language convey respect? Do you serve him with an attitude of respect?
It is possible that your purposeful actions of respect may well be the first step in his heart warming toward you.
So, if you’ve been unloved by your husband, turn to Christ and have hope. Take actions over which you have power, and live in faith that God will honor your efforts and take care of you in every way.
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