Don't Defend Yourself ~ Improve Yourself

My wife always says, “husbands aren’t old houses that will be great when you fix them up.”  That isn’t to say that an old house couldn’t use some upgrades.  All too often, men respond to suggested upgrades by bowing up to their wives and digging in, preparing for a fight that they are almost certain is just around the corner.  

            Let me ask you this, is a car with air conditioning better than a car without air conditioning?  I have some experience with this.  I moved from Minnesota, where I didn’t need air conditioning nine months out of the year to Oklahoma where I needed air conditioning nine mounts out of the year.   The answer became very clear.  I spent a summer sweating through my shirt on my way to work.  I was ready, and in desperate need for an upgrade.

            I would propose that 95% of what you see as nagging or criticism is done from a kind heart that wants what is best for you and your marriage.  She wants you to enjoy the benefits of air conditioning.  How much better would your life be if you took it in stride?  Instead of defending yourself, or countering with something that she did wrong to “balance” the scales.  The fact of the matter is this, neither of you are perfect. The truth be told, you can’t change her.  So, what are you going to do about you?  

            Offense is at the root of letting a critic of your tidiness spark a fight where unkind things are said.  Proverbs 19:11 EVS “Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”  So, you not only avoid an argument, you bring glory to God.  Colossians 3:23 reminds us, whatever we do we do it for the Lord and that includes both arguing and husbanding well.  

            One of the most famous examples of manly neglect is leaving the toilet seat up. Is she going to fall?  Nope!  Is an alligator going to swim up from the sewer and take a bite out of crime? Nope!  So, what is the big deal?  The big deal is you are not taking 2 seconds to show consideration to the woman you married.  This communicates to her that she is not important.  That communication creates insecurity.  That is important!

            Why not do what you have been asked to do?  Are you looking at the situation as if you are less of a man because you are taking orders from your wife?  You should choose to look at it as I’m being a good husband and honoring God by choosing not to annoy my wife.  For me, it is closing cabinets and drawers in the kitchen or locking the doors at night. No one has lost an eye, in fact.  I’m the only one who has been harmed by my laziness.  No one has broken into our house because I forgot to lock all the doors before I went to bed.  The results are not what matter.  What matters are my choices, regardless of the results.

            I make small changes to reap big benefits.  Who doesn’t want less stress, less fights, and a happier wife?  I lock the doors, I close the cabinets, I take out the trash, I still get to drink as much pop, watch as much football, and do all the things that I enjoy.  I listen to her, take what she says into account, and instead of harping on how small they are, and how they shouldn’t matter, I give them importance, and by my actions, I give her importance.  I get better.  I don’t get defensive.  Her voice is heard and I show her she has influence.  She doesn’t have control, I do.  It’s my call, but it is an unselfish call.  I am looking to reduce strife (big and small) because James 3:16 KJV “Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

            Protect your home and your marriage from strife.  Don’t get bent out of shape over the little stuff.  Don’t pick a fight.  Choose a better you and start reaping the benefits.