Reframing Your Negative Thoughts and Feelings
Toward Your Husband
When I was learning to sew as a teen, I learned the quiet importance of seam allowances. They are the extra line of fabric you leave between the edge of the fabric and the seam line. Although they aren’t visible on a completed garment or quilt, the seam allowances help you piece parts together in a harmonious way to get the results you want.
If you don’t leave enough allowances, the finished piece will not lay correctly. You could even have holes in your project without them. The allowances are unseen, yet vital to every garment you wear and every linen you use.
The apostle Paul tells us that we must have allowances in our relationships. He wrote, “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” Ephesians 4:2 NLT
In the early years of my marriage, I struggled to apply this verse. I zeroed in on my husband’s faults instead of making allowances for them. I focused on my hurts and losses, blaming and chastising him instead of showing compassion and understanding.
The fact is, we all have faults in our marriage. And this verse applies to everyone in relationship–both you and your husband. Ideally, both you and your husband want to give allowances for each other. But this isn’t always the case! So, as we often talk about here at A Wife Like Me, only you will give an account for you. So as we seek Christ, He makes us be humble, gentle and patient with our husbands, making allowances out of love, just as Christ has for us.
But what does this look like? Practically, how can we move toward having a heart that makes allowances?
These are the steps I took to make allowance for my husband. These steps have helped me shift my focus and stop seeing him in such a negative light.
- Study your husband’s personality. You can take a free personality test online in minutes. Ask your husband to do the same. When you study his results, realize that God hardwired your husband with wonderful strengths. However, each of these strengths have a weakness For example, a naturally fast-paced person may struggle with patience. Weaknesses are where you can and will be challenged to make allowance for your husband, because they are unlikely to completely change.
- Learn about your husband’s childhood. I was married 14 years before I began asking my husband’s family members what life was like when he was young. God gave me clues into my husband’s past suffering, which he couldn’t control as a child. His responses to the pain shape who he is now. I had a difficult childhood myself, and I know how it still affects me. By learning about my husband’s challenging childhood, I gained compassion for him. I can make allowance for certain behaviors because they are deeply ingrained in his subconsciousness.
- Overlook as many wrongs as possible. Not every issue is worth a fight. Some issues must be confronted, but a great majority can be quickly forgiven and not even discussed. Is there an easy area where you can make allowance for your husband? An area that’s not really worth fighting about any longer? God will help you sort out which wrongs need to be overlooked as you pray for guidance. In those places, you can make allowances.
One of the best parts of making allowance for your husband is that you gain greater peace. When you set him free from every little obligation, you create harmony in your home. You also open space to view him with greater compassion and love.
Allowances in marriage have the quiet power to create harmony. When we keep allowances in place, they make everything work better. Leave them out, and you have kinks or holes in your relationship.
Wife Step: Today, the work of making allowance can start with you, dear wife! What allowances do you need to start making today?
Sarah Geringer writes about Finding Peace in God’s Word at sarahgeringer.com and is the author of three self-published books. Her book on Christian meditation will be published by Leafwood in late 2019. When she’s not reading or writing, Sarah enjoys painting, baking, gardening and playing the flute. She lives in her beloved home state of Missouri with her husband and three children, right in the heart of prime viewing for the Great Eclipses of 2017 and 2024.
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