As a young mother, one of the things I have really appreciated about staying home has been the ability to connect with other moms. I’m part of a neighborhood playgroup, I get together with other moms in my church, and I often have the chance to spend time with other women. And while most of the time this is a chance for uplifting, empathetic, and encouraging conversations, I have noticed an unsettling tendency among women.
“Ugh, I am SO mad at my husband! I asked him to do the dishes last night and he totally forgot. AGAIN.”
“Well, that’s not as bad as my husband. At least your husband helps sometimes. Mine can’t even find the sink.”
“Oh, that’s nothing. My husband sits around all day Saturday and Sunday and plays video games. Because ‘it’s the weekend.’ I never get a weekend to just sit around!”
Ladies, this may seem like a small thing. I mean, what’s the harm in rolling your eyes about how you do all the housework, and laughing to find out you’re not the only one? Harmless, right?
Think about it. Let’s just say that your husband forgot to take out the trash last night, even though you asked him to do it. You took it out that morning, but didn’t think about it much - I mean, he had a long day yesterday, and you really don’t mind doing it yourself. So you show up to a play group, and two of the women are discussing the big argument one of them had last night with their husband, who apparently forgot to pay an important bill. You chime in and laugh about how forgetful your husband can be as well, and then another woman pipes up about how her husband “never helps out” around the house. Suddenly you are adding that your husband is actually pretty unhelpful, too - she’s certainly not alone. Before you know it, several of the women are rolling their eyes and talking about how frustrated they are with their husbands. You leave feeling annoyed at your husband, upset over things that seemed unimportant only a few hours ago.
It’s sneaky - and that’s why I’m choosing to write about it. One little seed of anger and resentment can bloom into a mess of weeds that takes more than a little pruning to tame. One moment, you’re saying to yourself, “You know, my husband was at work all day. I really don’t mind doing the dishes after dinner,” but the moment a few other women start discussing the same issue, you may find yourself thinking, “Hey! Wait a second! She’s upset over the same thing, and she talked to her husband about it! And now he does the dishes every night,” or, “Well if she gets her husband to clean on the weekends, maybe mine should, too....” Mob mentality is not a good thing for marriage, friends. If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to please, please think before you participate in conversations revolving around what husbands are doing wrong. If it’s important enough to talk with your friends about, then it’s probably important enough to go directly to your husband, privately and respectfully.
Respecting your husband and speaking well of him is something that I think our society not only undervalues, but often laughs at. We’ve all seen those sitcoms, with the bumbling lazy husband and the wife who makes him sleep on the couch because he made one wrong move. Respect is something that men take very seriously - and as their wives, we need to as well. And respect isn’t just something we do in front of them - it’s something we do on a 24/7 basis. Ladies, this can be hard sometimes - especially if it doesn’t feel disrespectful at the moment. When a bunch of women get together and start sharing stories, it may seem harmless. However, disrespecting our husbands to others really can lead us down a path that we should not go down. It not only plants seeds of resentment in our own hearts and minds, but it also sets us up to be directly disrespectful to the men we love.
Now, I’m not saying that it’s the worst thing in the world to vent a little. In fact, it’s healthy. But there is a huge difference between venting privately to another individual for the purpose of letting off some steam and receiving some godly advice, and jumping at any chance you have to unload about your husband. Personally, I have a couple of close girlfriends who I can call, and who understand that if I need to talk about something personal, it’s because that letting it fester and rattle around my head is only going to make it worse. I also trust these women, because I know that they know my heart - and they never say a bad word about my husband. I unload a little, they listen, and then we talk about how to approach my concerns in a godly and respectful way. This is far cry from the husband-bashing that seems so common these days.
I write this simply to address something that I think is more harmful and insidious than we wives realize. Warrior Wives don’t shoot their husbands with friendly fire - but rather, we need to join hands with our men and live our lives in a way that honors them even when they aren’t present. Because when it comes down to it, Warrior Wives know when to speak the truth in love to our husbands, when to let it go, and when to step away from an unhealthy conversation.
Sharing with: Rediscovering Domesticity, Thought-Provoking Thursday, Thoughtful Thursday, Hearts for Home Thursday, NOBH, Beholding Glory, Your Thriving Family, Finding Beauty, Christian Mommy Blogger