What follows is the long awaited step three to improving your marriage. I’m sorry this has taken so long. Alas! Here is it.
The most important thing I can say for step number three is to make a concerted effort to edify – to build up - your husband. So many women I have counseled have told me that in their thought life they think negative and derogatory thoughts towards their husbands – things like, “that was a stupid thing to say,” or “I can’t believe he thinks that, what an idiot,” and many other overtly belittling thoughts. Now, they don’t say these things aloud. However, don’t think for a moment that their husband didn’t feel the impact of those thoughts with their wive's body language, behaviors, tone of voice, choices and even other words spoken.
II Corinthians 10:3-5 comes into play here: For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
Capturing every thought to the obedience of Christ. That means that my thoughts should reflect that which Christ asks of me. Christ asks me to consider others better than myself. Christ asks me to love genuinely from the heart. Christ asks me to love my neighbor as myself (that includes my husband). Christ asks me (through Paul) to meditate on whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report, and on anything of virtue, and if there be any thing to praise. I am asked by Christ to meditate on the good things in my husband.
Thus, I will be obedient to the Lord if I capture my negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts about my husband.
If you are a long way down the road of negative thinking towards your spouse, it may seem really hard to do this. However, when God looks upon your spouse – whether he is saved, not saved, totally backslidden, or in sin – He sees the good things in him, He sees those things of virtue even if some of those things lay dormant, He sees the wonderful qualities – those gifts and talents given by Him. And since we have the mind of Christ, God is able to reveal those very things to us. Pray and ask the Lord to show you things you can praise in your husband. Spend some time journaling and in prayer, and sitting quietly before the Lord – He will reveal His heart towards your husband. He will give you His love for your husband. He will give you new eyes with which to look at your husband.
And not only do you need to think good thoughts about your husband, but you need to express those things to your husband. You need to build him up. Again, if you are a long way down the road of negativity, it may feel extremely unnatural at first. It will feel so forced and almost fake. Start small: every day express something you are thankful for in your husband to him. Even if it’s something as small as, “Honey, thanks for always getting the trash out on time, if it were up to me – we’d miss a lot of trash days.” Just a small gesture like that will go an extremely long way in edifying your husband. If you are diligent to keep up your praise each day, you will be amazed at the changes that you will begin to see in your spouse. Your changed attitude and your positive words will be the avenue that opens the door for him to become the man that God created him to be.