My bitterness had reached an ugly point, and I knew it. Staying angry at my husband seemed like the protective wall my heart needed from being hurt again. And I’m a Pastor’s wife.

He neglected me. He cares more about the church. He doesn’t even care to love me the way I need.

So, I began to close myself off and justify my loveless attitude. If he wasn’t going to put effort into meeting my needs and loving me, then why should I bother? Doesn’t he see how much I give? Why isn’t he taking care of me? I would lay night after night allowing the thoughts to pour over me.

Toxic thoughts. Angry thoughts. Bitter thoughts. Thoughts that created more distance.

The longer I held on to the merry-go-round of memories, the more I could avoid seeing any of my own faults. If I stayed angry, there wouldn’t be space for conviction.

But gentle nudgings from the Holy Spirit reminded me that when I find myself discontented with my husband, there is usually an underlying issue within my own heart. It’s my tendency to point and say, “What about him?” After all, he has a high calling to love me as Christ loves the church, doesn’t he? However, when I lean in to listen, I find that the hurt is often coupled with something misaligned inside of me. It’s my responsibility to examine this.

As author Melanie Chitwood writes:

“My obedience to God, however, cannot be determined by my husband’s actions. I am responsible for my own choices. God will work on my husband. But I am responsible for my obedience to the Lord.”

Ouch! Not an easy thing to hear, but my heart recognized the truth in this statement, and I begin to ponder a few questions.

Heart Check

  1. How’s my relationship with the Lord? Am I looking to Him to fill my heart or have I been disconnected?
  2. Am I connecting with other women who encourage me to have a godly view my husband?
  3. Have I become depleted or discontented in other areas? And have I placed blame on my husband’s shoulders?


Focus Differently

“For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” (Psalm 107:9)

This verse came to mind as I wrestled with those questions. It’s a beautiful promise to us, friends. One that helps me to walk in obedience while my heart is still hurting.

God knows when we long for more from our husbands. He knows where they have failed us. Will we have the courage to trust His promise of satisfaction enough to be obedient? Can we lay aside our stubborn pride to do things the way He has designed?

Love is not self-seeking but is hopeful. Sometimes hope needs legs. And those legs sometimes just need to take a small step in the right direction. While I wait, while I hope, I can obey. Trusting the Lord to satisfy the longings within helps me soften so I can focus my thoughts on ways I can love my husband, even when it is difficult.


Take a Step

Setting aside our pride can be so difficult. After we have examined our hearts and chosen to be obedient, we need to find a way to move towards our husbands and reach across the gap. Sometimes it feels impossible to cross. Big steps may not be possible. But what about a small one?

Laughter – A joyful heart is not only good medicine for an individual. There is a deeper connection when we laugh together. Perhaps setting a date night to watch a comedian or to do something out of the ordinary. Surprise nerf war anyone?
• Touch – “Sometimes reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey.” (Vera Nazarian) It’s simple, yet challenging. A hand on the shoulder. Reaching for a pat on the leg. Sliding your hand in his. Ask God to show you what would be most effective.
• Gratitude – Let him know something you appreciate. It may take some deep digging, but you will see something if you look intentionally. If saying it doesn’t come easy right now, try writing it in a place where he will see it. There is a frame on the dresser of our room where I will write a simple thank you as I notice thing. Having it there keeps me in the habit of gratitude. (see attached picture)
• Prayer – It is awfully hard to stay angry when I am praying for my husband. I must admit times I wanted to pray God to wake him up or teach him a lesson. What if we committed to only praying blessings for a period?

Trust Him. He loves you, dear one. He knows your deepest cry and He’s holding your heart, tenderly and carefully. Depend on His strength and let Him keep working.


As much as we may want to, we cannot change our husbands. What we CAN do is choose to trust that God’s love is enough to carry us into obedience. Laying down our pride and reaching toward our husband is a step toward healing. In our obedience we will find God working in ways we haven’t seen yet.



What A Husband Needs From His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

What Is It Like to Be Married to Me? By Linda Dillow