If you’ve already blown your New Year’s resolutions, I have a suggestion. Resolve to do only one thing this new year: forgive your husband for not being perfect.
Several years ago, while our Sunday school class discussed issues relating to married life, Bert said, “Our marriage isn’t perfect—”
I couldn’t help but interrupt. “Oh, Hon. Now they know!” The class chuckled a neither-is-our-marriage-perfect kind of chuckle.
Since we all agree that marital perfection is a myth, why do we behave as if we expect our marriages to be perfect? As we pledge our “I do’s,” we dream of “happily ever after,” vowing never to let anything come between us – between two imperfect people – until death do us part.
It doesn’t take long for reality to set in. Yet perhaps it would be possible to live a realistic version of “happily ever after” if we heeded Proverbs 19:11 (ESV): “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”
We appreciate when our husbands show us grace for our annoying and unloving ways. What would happen in our marriages if we applied Proverbs 19:11 to the way we treat our husbands?
Rather than overreacting at their maddening quirks, what if we practiced discretion by holding our tongues? When we respond generously (rather than reacting) when our husbands behave in less than loving ways, we can demonstrate a level of maturity that will earn their respect.
When we cease to nitpick our husbands for not being as “perfect” as we are, imagine how it will change the way they feel about coming home at night. If we continue to behave this way, we may be surprised by how much it changes our perspective about our husbands. When we stop focusing on their imperfections, it becomes easier to see their good qualities.
A word of caution: As we apply this week’s verse, it won’t be easy. Our husbands will probably be no more perfect today than they were yesterday. They won’t be any better at picking up their socks off the floor or loading the dishwasher the way we do. Our spouses may still struggle with prioritizing and procrastinating.
But consider the alternative. What would our marriages look like by the end of this year if we continue our needless nitpicking and overreacting at our husbands’ imperfections? Could our marriages become so broken that no New Year’s resolution could fix them? Heaven forbid.
Sheryl H. Boldt is the author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. You can reach her at SherylHBoldt@gmail.com