There are a lot of great marriage materials out there to help couples save their marriages and keep them thriving. I think these are really important tools to have because sometimes we just feel lost. Sometimes, we forget that we just need to go back to the basics. We need to slow down and remember. But sometimes they are not enough.
When Love is a Battle
There was a time in my marriage when I struggled to love my husband well. I would serve him well, but I was battling resentment, bitterness, anger, and emotional detachment. Nothing fully took root, thankfully, but I did battle.
Part of me felt justified, but part of me felt guilty. There was a tug-o-war going on with my heart and walking out God’s word. I prayed. I prayed so much for God to give me wisdom, direction, and to help me love my husband the way he needed to be loved.
I’m learning the best way to love my husband isn’t through solely serving him, respecting him, or even supporting him–although those are all important aspects in a marriage.
Being Lead By Feelings
I’m a very emotional, deep-feeling kind of person. I’m also very intuitive. I can read people I know really well. It has taken (and still takes) discipline to learn not to be lead by my emotions. I use them as a signal that something needs attention. But being lead by them has proven before to be destructive and dangerous.
Don’t misunderstand. Emotions are a vital part of our humanity and not something we should ignore or stuff down or pretend don’t exist. They are a part of our true self and shouldn’t be denied.
Some of the most common emotions include fear, anger, pain, shame disgust as well as enjoyment, love, surprise, and exhilaration. When we are lead by anger, it causes destruction. When we are lead by disappointment, it deteriorates the marriage. When we are lead by exhilaration, it causes unrealistic expectations.
Instead, use those feelings to determine what might need to be addressed in your heart or the heart of the relationship. If you’re not certain how to get to that point, I highly recommend bringing help in. It’s not as scary as it seems. In fact, it’s a huge blessing and could save your marriage, if not from divorce, then from indifference. Indifference is deadly for a marriage. You don’t have to go through the act of a legal divorce for your marriage to turn cold.
The Best Way to Love Your Husband
After praying and crying out to God on how to love my husband well, even while I was struggling to “feel” it, He told me to stop trying to force it. Instead, He wanted me to focus on loving Him and going deeper with Him, and He would take care of the rest.
So what’s the best way to love your husband? It’s to love God first.
What does that look like, though? Because all of us who follow Jesus would say, we love Him. I know I do! Love requires action though. So, when we want to love God on a deeper level (and we can always go deeper), we seek Him more. Sometimes that means we dive deeper into His Word, or into prayer, or we bring in outside help. Or, all of the above.
Sometimes that means cutting out what’s not honoring to Him so we can fully focus on Him and Him alone. Maybe we need to cut out things that aren’t necessarily “bad” but are distracting us. Whatever it is God is speaking to you, personally, is a way of going deeper and focusing on loving God more.
Only God can transform our hearts, and the hearts of our husbands.
The best way to love your husband is to love God first.
For His Glory,
Christin has been married to her high school sweetheart for 20+ years and together they have seven children. She enjoys writing, reading, weightlifting, and challenging herself to new things.
Her passion is to pursue holiness and wholeness in Christ. You can find her on Instagram at instagram.com/christinslade