I've seen a good many opinions slide down my timeline lately about marriage, gender roles, and how relationships should not work. Sadly, I've found most attack perceived problems rather than point us to grace. So, I thought I'd share a thread on why I love being a difficult wife:
One of my favorite things about being married to Jason is learning how he thinks and what he feels. Getting to really know another person is much of the joy of relationships, is it not? We should never stop learning one another. A desire to understand is an expression of love. /2
Yet men, generally speaking, tend to conceal their emotions. That doesn't mean they're not there. Some of the best men I know routinely set aside their own wants and needs for another's. While this tendency is noble, it can lead to neglect. Here's where a loving wife comes in. /3
One could play off Proverbs 25:2 and say, "It is the glory of husbands to be strong and sacrifice humbly, but the glory of wives to notice, protect, and provide."

Now that I've offended pretty much everyone, I will give you all some personal examples from my own life. /4
Last Sunday Jason was watching me put on eyeliner and said, "THAT's what I like. Plain, simple eyeshadow. None of that parrot stuff." Suddenly it struck me that FOR 12 YEARS I've been wearing heavy eyeshadow because he has the cosmetic vocabulary of a 5 year old. /5
This week I forsook "that parrot stuff," and while a humorous example, this shows how so often when we aren't seeing eye-to-eye, we need to stop what we're doing and ask, "What do you mean?" Sometimes, literally, "You keep saying that word. What does that word mean to you?" /6
Sometimes Jason comes home seeming tense. I usually assume it's because dinner isn't ready or the house is a mess. Sometimes I'm right, but other times, he's thinking about a project at work, saw a bad accident coming home, or had a troubling coversation with a friend. /7
I've found, as a wife, if I can plant the kids in front of the TV, take him aside for 10 minutes, and ask him what's wrong and what he's feeling, I can often bypass a stressful evening of feeling guilty about my inane housekeeping skills when he's not even noticing them. /8
By the same token, it's extremely helpful when he texts me on his way home saying, "On my way home. Hospital screwed up our bill again. Feeling stressed." Because then I know ahead of time it's not anything I've done that's aggravating him, it's some other factor. /9
I've also been honored to help my husband figure out difficult relationship situations. I tend to read people well and be a good judge of character. I've helped him navigate complex relationships and anticipate problems he might not otherwise have expected. /10
I enjoy encouraging my husband to have hobbies. I've seen a number of people criticize husbands who play video games, watch sports, work out, etc.. However, maintaining our individuality is vital to safeguarding our marriage. We cannot let roles or work completely define us. /11
As I mentioned before, much of the joy in relationships is learning the other. I'm not naturally inclined to play video games, and Jason isn't naturally inclined to watch British murder mysteries and romances, but we both do, because our individuality is important to us. /12
It's also important to me, as his wife, to make sure he is taken care of physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If all he does is work, serve, and sacrifice, he'll run himself ragged. I make it a priority to ensure he has time to relax, goof around, and play with the kids. /13
Sometimes all that means is I do the dishes before he gets home, not because it's my wifely duty, but because I know that if I don't, he will, and then he won't have as much time with the kids or playing guitar. I don't do this because I have to, but because I love him. /14
All relationships will have a different chemistry, and go through different seasons. Thankfully we don't worship a god of works but a Savior of Grace. What works in my marriage may not in yours. The joy of marriage is learning each other and discovering our unique balance. /15
We build each other up, encourage, protect, care for, and comfort. We love one another enough to honestly yet humbly address sin problems. Sometimes we do so by confrontation, other times by gently encouraging strengths and virtues which naturally override a sin in question. /16
The Bible shows us many different kinds of marriages. Esther & Ahasuerus, Ruth & Boaz, Isaac & Rebeka, Mary & Joseph, Abraham & Sarah; they were all sinful with extremely diverse chemistries. What defined their marriages was not their ability to fit a role, but their faith. /17
The Bible gives us a lot of "Christian liberty." We have freedom to decide who will play what role and how, do what chores, and bring home the bacon in our marriages. What the Bible requires is simply faith in Christ, and a love of Jesus that informs how we treat one another. /18
The Bible doesn't say wives can't hold jobs, husbands can't have hobbies, or we're defined by cultural stereotypes and wooden ideals. Embrace your freedom in Christ. Learn what works for you. Bring each other joy. Don't let people weigh you down with rules God never made. /19
We conform ourselves to Christ, not some cultural trend or worldly ideal.

"Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a fragrant aroma." Ephesians 5:1-2

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