Hurting Wife, Angry Husband Dance

Luke 6:27-35 (NIV)

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

Sometimes, it feels to me that my needs are too big for my husband. I so want him to act, to say, to feel a certain way and when he doesn’t I am hurt. Then when I show him I am hurting and he doesn’t respond the way I think he should I am hurt even more.

I often imagine that this time it is going to be different. That both my husband and I have grown in love and understanding. Yet, the argument is still the same. The pain is still there and I am left broken and disappointed. My husband is left frustrated and angry. We seem caught in the hurting wife, angry husband dance.

This time something different did happen. When the first note of this scenario began to play. I took my normal position, mistreated wife and my husband took his, over demanded husband and we started our normal painful dance. Somewhere in the middle of this argument dance I stopped.  I was crying out to the Lord. Pouring out all the pain to Him. When I was spent, and emptied out, the Lord began to speak to my heart.

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

I had tried and tried to get what I needed from my husband. I talked and talked and tried to make him understand. I wasn’t listening to God on how to speak to my husband or how to process my emotions, I was being lead by my need.  I tried all different ways, tones, words to no avail in getting my need met. The need switched my focus from loving and honoring my husband to getting what I needed at all costs. My need told me I had a right to what I was seeking. That I deserved it, was entitled to it. This motivation caused me to succeed only in making my husband more and more angry and my wound to deepen. I did succeed in sending this message: “I have a need, and You must meet it in the way I want and expect, NOW!” Not the message I wanted my husband to hear.

Lesson one: Stop to listen to God always, but especially when I am hurting.

It is when my heart is hurting that I need God the most. I need Him always but when my heart is hurting, what I need becomes my highest priority. I feel more driven to act outside of my conviction to love my husband with God’s love.

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

In those moments, I sometimes feel like my husband has become my enemy. He has what I want, but for some reason is withholding it from me.  I feel like  what I am asking is not too much. I feel greatly mistreated. My response is to go in like a viking warrior and take by force what I need. My heart conviction is my need is right and just and my husband not meeting it is unjust and unrighteous. I feel like I have a just cause. My highest priority is not to do good to my husband but to get the good I feel I deserve and have a right to.  This is Jenni’s battle plan and always fails. However, this time, after warring in my Jenni strategy, and failing horribly,  I truly began to seek the Lord’s heart for my situation.

Lesson two: Ask God to show me how to treat my husband good, even when I feel mistreated.

Here is what I am learning about good. God is good(Psalms 100:5). There is no good in me apart from Christ (Romans 7:18).  God’s plan for us is for good (Jeremiah 29:11). If I want to see good days, whether apparent or not,  I must keep my tongue from evil and my lips from guile (I Peter 3:10).  My situation didn’t feel good or look good. It was my husband and I, stuck in the same pattern of hurting that we have been for many years. As God helped me focus my heart on Him and what His word said about this situation, I began to see with a new heart, not one clouded with my hurt. The  shrill voice of my unmet need quieted under the peace of the Word of my God. I prayed for my husband and for myself.

God began to show me what my good really was and how I could give God’s good to my husband while my own need was yet unmet by him. See, the goodness of God is that He always supplies above and beyond all that I can ask or think (Eph 3:20). He is the God who supplies ALL my needs as I am seeking Him(Phil 4:19, Matt 6:33). My good comes when I stop looking at my husband as my main source. God is my main Source for all things. Even this need I so want my husband to fulfill.

I heard the Lord clearly say to me, “Jenni quit trusting yourself to meet your own needs. Trust me.”  My need was legitimate and valid but my methods of meeting that need were old school and limited by my humanness. Those methods came from the old nature, whose focus was self gratification. I am no longer that creature. I am a new person in Christ. This new person trusts in the Lord with all her heart, even the wounded places and does not lean to her own understanding. Why would I want to be the lord of this situation when I have no power and am  so limited? That is exactly where the voice of my hurt was trying to enthrone me.   As I humbled my heart and invited God to be the Lord of this situation, He stepped right in and perfectly began to work it out.  Suddenly, what seemed to be impossible for me became a possibility. What my heart was longing for began to be satisfied by Him.

31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

God’s way of loving my husband is for me to take my unmet needs and trust God with them. For me to stop expecting and demanding my husband to meet those needs. I find this very difficult. I really struggle with this. It goes against all that I feel and think. Yet when God helps me to trust Him with this, my reward is very great. In this situation, I began to ask the Lord how He wanted me to treat my husband. Also how He wanted me to feel about this. What happened is that when I began to treat my husband with God’s good, my husband began to respond in kind. It was amazing.

Lesson three: Ask God to help me treat my husband as I would want to be treated.

This situation was greater than just my hurt and unmet need. It was about me learning to dance God’s way. No longer would I circle my husband with hurt and disappointment but now I could freely dance with him in love and joy. God meets my needs. All my needs, period! My expectation is in God. This frees my husband to grow and develop as God leads, not according to my personal agenda. When the first note of this music begins, we now have new dance. I now know new steps. This is my great reward.

35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

God enables me to love my husband even when I feel mistreated. He enables me to give good to my husband, even when I don’t see the change I need to see in him.  God helps me to put my expectation in Him. The more I entrust myself to God, the more loved I feel and the better love I have to give. The more content and satisfied I am in my marriage. .

Lesson four:  Great reward comes from doing things God’s way.

This has been a hard lesson for me to grasp. Trusting God to supply my needs, and not trying to get those needs met myself is a process of learning and unlearning. Doing things God’s way requires me to lay down what I think, what I feel and often, what I need. I am still working on it. I still get out of sync and off beat but He is faithful to correct and teach me how to dance.  Changes have come. Our hurt/angry dances are much shorter and fewer in numbers. The more I honor God by doing the dance His way, the more honor I receive. I see and feel His great reward. He has met my needs and my heart greatly rejoices!

4 thoughts on “Hurting Wife, Angry Husband Dance”

  1. I really like the analogy of the Marriage dance…at the wedding, the first dance is for the bride and groom and then the next is for the father of the bride and his daughter. How marvelous to watch the love shared at the beginning of the journey together, so sweet. But, then the honeymoon has worn off and the business of life has you doing the “Two step”, then the “Hustle” and before you know it…there is no time or energy left in the day to “Boogie down”…you get my meaning? Where has the romance gone?

    Maybe, we just need to take a few new dance lessons? Instead of dancing the same old steps, that don’t seem to hold the same sparkle or piazza’s it did at the beginning of the marriage waltz?

    We change over the years…nothing wrong with that, right? Music changes and so must we to keep up with the new moves, right? So…take out those dance shoes, go get yourself some music for your heart and find your new rhythm…together. That is the key here: In dance, it take someone to lead the steps and one to follow. Let your heart be twirled, spun, dipped and sauntered to each others delight…dance your love song together! Watch God blessings flow as you dance before Him!


  2. May you dance in agreement, met needs and joy for your continued walk with Christ. Marriage is hard. It is like having another demanding job to come yo after you leave work. Some people think (ignorantly) that marriages just “work.” They don’t, in my experience. Marriage is a complex relationship, covered in vow’s we’ve made to one another, held up by delicate infra-structures of respect, hopes, dreams, wishes, shared interests, and above all, love. Unless we are continually checking that the foundations of our marriage are still strong, we have no chance when hard times hit, and we are in threat of being demolished. A working marriage kind of reminds me of my car. I have to put gas in it for it to work (love), I need to check the oil and fluids to be able to run my car (respect, communication), I check the air pressure in the tires, and check for wear (intimate times for husband and wife only), and of course, the body of the car has to look nice and clean (not letting ourselves get out of shape, now that we are married). All these things ensure my car is ready for the long trip I have planned. Anyone who proceeds to marry, should know that marriage is a “work in progress,” and growth and adjustment is needed. With daily individual prayer, and also a family night of bible study, marriage can really benefit from the wisdom that the Lord gave us. It is wonderful to know the one you chose on earth is walking that “narrow” road right beside you. They are ready, willing and able to help you maneuver around obstacles, as well as lift you up when you fall.

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