Do you ever notice young couples on a date? Not only are they often overly affectionate, they are also quite chatty. They might be talking about…
Before marriage, we all thought we would be the most amazing wife. If we were to visualize our life ten years into marriage, we surely would have pictured ourselves with a big smile, massively in love (and loveable), enjoying all our wifely duties, and living a hard-working, productive life.
Some of these predictions may have turned out to be true. But sadly, the most simple thing is often the first to go. Namely — a smiling wife.
I know life has challenges, and surely there are plenty of moments in which a smile is not appropriate, but you know what I mean… we find it way too easy to be negative, to focus on the worst part of each day, and, well, be not particularly pleasant – especially around the men who
have the privilege to be are married to us.
So what’s our deal? Why so negative? Why don’t we give our husbands the gift of a smiling wife often enough?
What IS Our Deal?
Well, I’m sure we all have a variety of reasons for our grumpiness, but a big one that plagues us all is …drum roll please… selfishness. Yep, just plain old selfishness.
We probably have some unmet expectations floating around, either on a minor level regarding how we wish the day went; Or maybe on a deeper level, we wish life looked different, (or we wish our husbands were different). As we let these thoughts roam unchecked, we quickly start focusing on ourselves, and how life needs to be fixed to match our desires. Hence, we find ourselves rather grumpy because things are not to our liking.
Another common theme undergirding our pessimism is a lack of gratitude; Which is quite unfitting as a Christian. If you are God’s child, you have been given so much. SO MUCH! And the best is yet to come! But if you are not consistently taking the time to thank God for all he has given (and will give), your thoughts can quickly be taken over by all that you don’t like in life (and marriage). If these aspects of life consume your thoughts, you can bet it will flavor your emotions… and if it flavors your emotions, you can count on it dampening your mood… And with that vicious cycle, it’s no wonder we are not particularly pleasant wives.
Our need to own up to these sins is not terribly surprising, right? I mean, we already know we are more selfish than we ought to be, and we are more ungrateful than we want to be. But what we don’t always realize is how it impacts the people closest to us. The reality is, we could be dramatically better wives if we had our eyeballs less on ourselves and worked to cultivate a consistently thankful heart.
SO NOW WHAT?!
You want that right? Dramatically more awesome, less selfish, and more grateful! I know to that, I say “Yes, please!” Here are two simple things that will make a world of difference in our efforts to be a good wife…
First, let’s pray that God would help us not be so selfish. Our default position is self-centeredness, so we need God’s help!
Philippians 2:3–4 should be the consistent prayer of our heart, “ Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
The interest of others should be our focus. If we can get our attention off of ourselves and onto others, this will keep us from drowning in a pit of unmet expectations that usually is a leading culprit for our grumpiness.
Second, we need to work on becoming grateful women. We should do whatever it takes to remind ourselves of all that is good in our lives. This will take intentionality. Find what works for you and make it a consistent part of your life. No more focusing on the bad, we should be way too busy recounting the good!
Two simple solutions — attack selfishness, and become more grateful. Of course, easier said than done. However, this is already our desire as women who want to please the Lord. So this week we have double the motivation – Godliness AND becoming a dramatically better wife. Let’s do this!