It happens suddenly when I’m scrolling Facebook, and a friend posts something amazing her husband did:
- My husband surprised me with this amazing bouquet of flowers.
- Look at my hot hubby who just ran his fifth triathlon.
- I’m so thankful my husband puts the kids to bed every night.
- My husband built this amazingly beautiful farm table for our whole family.
- My husband served breakfast in bed and let me sleep in all morning.
And then … my heart goes places it shouldn’t. I look at my sweet husband and think to myself,
I never get to sleep in with four kids! Her husband lets her sleep in … wouldn’t that be nice?
Social media sure has a way of drawing out heart issues that aren’t always pleasant or pretty—greed, lust, ungratefulness, covetousness, and a slew of others. It can be easy to compare our husband to a friend’s. I’ve posted my praises about my husband’s gifts and I’m sure a friend has compared hers to mine. We’ve all been there.
Your husband is a gift
The truth is, your husband is a gift (even when it doesn’t feel like it)—whether he’s a handyman or won’t lift a hammer one inch. Whether he’s engineer-minded or more abstract. Whether he cooks or eats out. Whether he gives you monogrammed jewelry or a new Roomba for Christmas. Whether he’s involved in the kids’ activities or prefers to watch football at home. Whether he’s a man of many words, or barely speaks at all.
God gave your husband to you, and there’s always something to be grateful for in the man God created him to be.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 teaches us to, “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Allowing Christ to transform our hearts into one of gratitude for the man he’s given to us changes our perspective. We can’t be both thankful for God’s gifts and wishing our husband was someone else. When we possess a heart of thankfulness, we show God we trust His plans for our marriage. We believe God’s given us everything we need and more.
To give thanks in all of life’s circumstances is a high calling and can seem impossible, can’t it? Yet, we’re called to live in such a way through the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s a work of God to transform us more into the image of Christ, and through His help, it’s possible to give thanks in everything.
Where the grass is greener
God’s will for your marriage isn’t comparing and coveting another woman’s husband whether through newsfeeds or at work. Nor is it to look at your husband with contempt or frustration, or to constantly nag or yell at him for sitting on the couch staring at his phone while you’re drowning in dirty dishes. It’s not God’s will for you to look at his faults every day. Again, we’ve all been there. We all struggle. But God’s ways are always better.
God’s will is for you to come alongside your husband patiently with honor and respect. To appreciate how God has wired him, unlike anyone you’ve ever known. To uplift and appreciate him with your words and not constantly criticize his faults. To quit controlling him and instead begin loving him just as he is.
Maybe you’ve heard the idiom, “the grass is greener where you water it,” and how true this is in the marriage relationship. To water and cultivate the garden of our marriage with constant examining, pruning, time, attention, and protection. It’s our job to ensure damaging weeds don’t kill the beauty that’s growing slowly before our eyes. It’s our job to guard our hearts against anything that can steal the wonder of a thankful and joyful marriage.
If you’re reading this today and know your heart needs change, confess your ungratefulness to God. Remember, we all lose sight of His blessings. Our hearts can easily deceive. Turn from your sin and begin cultivating a heart of thankfulness as you rely on the Holy Spirit for help and guidance. Ask a trusted friend to hold you accountable. Pray for God to keep changing your heart first. Through time, watch God do a work of love and respect in your marriage like you’ve never seen before.
Samantha Krieger is a pastor’s wife and mama to two boys and two girls. She is the author of Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches. Her writing appears regularly on Her View from Home, TODAY Parenting, KirkCameron.com, and For the Family. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.