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Handling Frustrations Toward Our Spouse

Tue, Aug. 30, 2016 Posted: 12:22 PM


The following is an excerpt from my book, Marriage God's Way.

God's Word is not split into one section for husbands and another for wives. The biblical passages on marriage, such as Ephesians 5:22-33 and 1 Peter 3:1-7, contain intertwined exhortations for both spouses. Husbands should read the instruction for wives, and wives should read the instruction for husbands so they can understand what is commanded of their spouse. If a husband knows what is expected of his wife, and a wife knows what is expected of her husband, they can help each other fulfill their biblical responsibilities.

Although, there is also a danger associated with this approach. Since the standard set by God’s Word is so high:

  • A husband could easily become frustrated that his wife is not more respectful or submissive as God’s Word commands.
  • A wife could as easily become frustrated that her husband does not cherish her or provide the spiritual leadership God’s Word commands.

This is illustrated by a situation that took place years ago when I was teaching on marriage. A woman stood up and began criticizing her husband in front of everyone. I could have interrupted and said, “Can we all just pray for you two?” or “Why don’t we talk about this after the study?” Instead, I was caught so off guard that I did the worst thing possible—nothing! I simply stood there with my jaw dropped while the angry wife finished berating her husband.

After that, I decided that whenever I taught on marriage, I would remind people that the goal is to improve marriages not to arm couples for World War III. So here are three encouragements for handling any frustrations:

  1. We all have plenty of weaknesses that need to be addressed. Instead of keeping a mental account of all that your spouse does wrong, remind yourself of your own struggles.
  2. Ask yourself: “How can I encourage my spouse to fulfill the role God has given him or her? Is there anything I can do that will make being married to me easier?” If you cannot think of any answers to these questions, you are not thinking hard enough.
  3. Whenever you start to become frustrated toward your spouse, turn any frustrations into prayer. Take any feelings of hurt, betrayal, or disappointment, and pray that God will help your spouse grow in the area that is upsetting you. Pray also for God to help you be as forgiving and gracious as necessary. When it comes to our spouse, most people—myself included—are far more likely to complain, gossip, yell, threaten, pout, or ignore than to pray. If we would spend as much time praying for our spouse as we do on these other things, our marriages would be much better.

The following is an excerpt from my book, Marriage God's Way.

Scott LaPierre