Disagreements in marriage are common. Do you withhold things from your husband when you’re angry with him?
Read this familiar passage slowly with me: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV)
When I read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, I often think about being on the receiving end of the love mentioned in these verses. They state exactly how I desire to be loved. I want people to be patient and kind and not hold things against me. However, after reading these verses again, I was challenged to ask myself some hard questions.
Am I choosing to love my husband the same way I desire to be loved?
Am I kind and patient towards my husband when I’m upset about something, or am I selfishly rude and arrogant, demanding my own way?
Do I become resentful and withhold my love and kindness from my husband when I’m mad at him, or do I lovingly continue to help him despite our disagreements?
These questions made me recognize that I struggle to continue helping my husband in all the ways I usually do when I’m sore with him about something. My pride bubbles over, and I tell myself that he doesn’t deserve my loving kindness or help when I’m angry with him.
Disagreements Will Happen
Once, after a disagreement with my husband, I decided I would not do his laundry until he admitted and agreed that he was wrong and I was right. For weeks, I would walk past his overflowing laundry basket and huff in protest, pridefully refusing to wash his clothes.
My self-righteous laundry strike was my way of trying to prove that I was correct. Looking back, I realize that my conduct wasn’t modeling the love of Christ in my marriage. 1 Corinthians 13:5 says this of love, “… It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.” The words in this verse remind me that love doesn’t begrudgingly hold things against others or selfishly demand its way.
Jesus demonstrated the perfect love for us when he lovingly and willingly laid down his life for us on the cross. We didn’t deserve his love and forgiveness, yet he chose to sacrifice his life for us rather than hold our wrongdoings against us.
Disagreements are bound to happen. I may not always agree with my husband and will likely get upset with him sometimes. But if I’m to model the love of Christ in my marriage, I must choose to follow Christ’s example and not withhold my help, kindness, and love from my husband just because we disagree.
With God’s Help, We Can Overcome the Desire to Withhold Our Love and Kindness
The lure to withhold things from our husbands when we’re angry with them can be significant. But as the Bible reminds us, God has given us a spirit of power, love and self-control. (1 Timothy 1:7) We don’t have to give in to temptation. We can pray and ask God to help us. He will provide us with the strength and discipline to extend love and kindness to our husbands despite the conflicts we may have with them.
Here is a prayer you can pray:
Lord, I praise you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to lovingly and willingly lay down his life for us on the cross. Your word tells us that love isn’t selfish, rude, arrogant, or resentful. Forgive me, Lord, for the times I have withheld love from my husband because I was angry with him. I can’t do this alone, and I ask you to please help me model the love of Christ in my marriage before, during and after our disagreements. In Jesus, name, Amen!
It isn’t easy to lovingly serve someone when you’re in the midst of a dispute with them. But if we depend on Christ’s power, we can overcome the desire to withhold our love and kindness from our husbands when we disagree. We can continue to model the love of Christ in our marriage as we work through disagreements with our husbands.
Wife Step: Spend time with the Lord today and take a moment to pray the prayer mentioned above.
Kelly is a writer and blogger passionate about pointing others to God’s word for all of life’s obstacles. On her blog, Blossom In Faith, she writes to encourage others to grow in their relationship with Jesus as they seek, study, and reflect on God’s word. Kelly lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband Brandon, two young adult children, their son-in-law, and two very cuddly puppies. When she isn’t writing, you’ll probably find her working on a new arts and crafts project, hunting for vintage accessories, or planning her family’s next visit to the mountains.