Most marriages experience tough times where couples face disagreements, family issues, health issues, career challenges, and more. Unfortunately, facing them can tear a couple apart if they aren’t committed to staying together.
Yet during turbulent times, a loving wife can make all the difference in how a couple navigates through life’s challenges. As Scripture affirms, a wise wife is from the Lord (Proverbs 19:14).
God created women with the ability to enrich their husband’s lives, like Proverbs 18:22 explains “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.”
Because a wife’s love encourages her husband like no other’s (Genesis 2:18), below are 10 ways to keep loving your husband through tough times.
1. Love Your Husband By Seeing Him As God Created Him
On the popular show Fixer Upper, Joanna Gaines doesn’t always look so amused by her husband Chip’s humorous behavior. Still, I enjoy watching his comedic antics, seeing him as amusing and entertaining.
Truthfully though, if it were my husband doing the same things, it would be a totally different story. While Joanne handles it well, watching their interactions has made me realize things about my own marriage.
Like many wives, I have at times attempted to manage my spouse’s behavior, a course of action that usually only creates tension in our relationship.
2. Love Your Husband By Remembering His Strengths
During tough times a husband’s weaknesses can take center stage in a wife’s focus. Often, it can lead to feelings of disillusionment to the point of her wondering what she ever saw in him in the first place.
During tough times it’s important to remind myself of my husband’s wonderful qualities, to remind him, and myself, of his strengths and successes.
Especially during the challenges of marriage, it’s important to follow Romans 12:10: “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
It’s also helpful to “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).
3. Love Your Husband By Choosing Your Words Carefully
Like many women, I’ve discovered that the more words I speak to my husband, the fewer words he seems to hear. What I may believe is helpful dialogue – like offering him direction, reminding him of ways to improve – pretty much fall by the wayside.
Instead of coming across as beneficial, my words become like a dripping, leaky roof in a rainstorm (Proverbs 27:5). As Proverbs 21:19 reminds, “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.”
Mysteriously, the more carefully I choose my words with my husband, the more my husband seems to remember them and the more effective they become in his life.
4. Love Your Husband By Serving Him Like You Serve Others
When a guest comes to our house, or one of our children asks for something, I’m more than happy to serve them. Yet sometimes with a spouse, it’s easy to develop an attitude of “do it yourself.”
What is really helpful in turning my heart in the right direction towards my spouse is to think of Ephesians 6:7, to “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.”
In doing so, little things can go a long way, such as seeing his empty glass as I walk by and taking it to the kitchen. Although it doesn’t seem like much, apparently insignificant acts have the ability to speak volumes to him.
A humble and willing heart to serve expresses love to my husband’s heart in ways my words wouldn’t reach him.
5. Love Your Husband By Trusting God With His Decisions
The truth is that sometimes a husband makes decisions that don’t go well. It only takes a few false moves for a wife to start doubting his leading and second-guessing future decisions, especially ones where they don’t agree or see eye-to-eye on.
In marriage, trusting God with a husband’s decisions doesn’t always come easily, as it’s much easier for a wife to fall into an “I told you so” kind of mentality, keeping score of his decision-making wins and losses.
Yet Ephesians 4:32 encourages to, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
So during such challenges, instead of criticizing some of my husband’s decisions and doubting his leading, it’s important to trust God with the outcomes, believing He will work things together for our good (Romans 8:28).
6. Love Your Husband By Not Comparing Him to Other Men
Often when a wife feels her husband isn’t quite up to par, she starts looking around at other husbands as a role model for him.
However, pointing out other men to her husband, suggesting he follow their example usually has the opposite effect on him. Because it’s extremely important to a man how his wife sees him, comparisons can trigger feelings of defeat – of wanting to give up trying altogether once he feels like he’ll never be good enough for her.
As Proverbs 12:4 explains, a considerate woman is a crown to her husband, but one who disgraces him is like rottenness to his bones.
7. Love Your Husband By Letting God Transform You
Even if I don’t usually enjoy the process, I’ve come to realize God works through my husband to transform me, especially during tough times.
Instead of resisting the changes, James 1:2-4 encourages me to, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Through testing, I learn to keep steadfast in marriage even when I don’t feel like it, as God refines my heart in positive ways towards my husband.
8. Love Your Husband By Relying on God’s Love
While dating and engaged, it’s easy for a bride-to-be to feel loving towards a future husband while he makes her feel special and says all the right things.
However, as marriage’s day-to-day life kicks in with its ups and downs, the true test of love kicks in, when love doesn’t come as easy as it did before matrimony. Increasing divorce rates indicate the difficulty couples experience trying to love each other after the wedding.
During these times of feeling less than loving towards a spouse, a wife can rely on her love for God to carry her through. As 1 John 4:16 describes, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them.”
It’s through these experiences that I learn how to love my husband as God loves me, putting into practice 1 John 4:19 that reminds me, “We love because He first loved us.”
9. Love Your Husband by Submitting to God
The absolute key to loving my husband through tough times is my willingness to submit to God. Proverbs 3:5 instructs to “Trust in the Lord will all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
If worldly counsel is leading my behavior in marriage, then I’m not submitting to God but thinking my understanding is wiser than God’s counsel. As Isaiah 5:21 cautions, “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.”
1 Corinthians 3:18 also advises, “Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become ‘fools’ so that you may become wise.”
So for those who turn to Cosmopolitan and Dr. Phil rather than God’s word for relationship advice, 1 Corinthians 3:19 reminds, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness.’”
Finally, Psalm 118:8 assures us, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.”
10. Love Your Husband By Submitting to Him
A roadblock for many women in truly submitting to God comes with how the command leads to submitting to their husbands. As Colossians 3:18 directs, “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”
In this day of “Girl Power” and “Women’s Marches,” it’s not a popular idea. A growing number of women, including many Christian women, believe it’s an antiquated view in light of today’s culture.
However, because God created man, he also understands how to reach his heart. 1 Peter 3:1-2 explains the incredible influence a wife’s submissive attitude can have on her husband.
“Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your husbands, so that even if they refuse to believe the word, they will be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see your pure and reverent demeanor.”
Choosing to follow God’s ways means choosing His will over my own will, and trusting His ways to be better than my ways of loving my husband.
Like God says in Isaiah 55:9, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”