I know that it is a lonely and hurtful position to be in when you feel as though the good you are trying to do for your husband goes unnoticed. Or worse, when every time you serve him, he responds with an ungrateful, critical attitude. I certainly do not want to minimize the pain and sadness that you must feel. Right now, though, I would like to give you somewhere else to focus.
But before I do that, let me suggest one thing in dealing with a husband who seems to be blind to the ways in which you serve him and your family. First of all, although wives are called to respect and submit to their husbands, it's also important to recognize that you are not in a military relationship in which you are never allowed to communicate your feelings and desires. I believe that spouses should be good friends and good friends are allowed to communicate ways in which they feel hurt. After some very careful and prayerful consideration, I believe that you could approach your husband and share how you are feeling. However, even before you do that, I think it's worth considering whether desiring appreciation and praise is even a biblical desire or something that God wants us to be focusing on.
Even in the event that you do gently communicate how you are feeling, he may not listen. He may not care. Then what? Well, if the marriage is particularly antagonistic, you may need some outside help from a biblical counselor.
In the meantime, what do you do? How do you look at your husband? How do you treat him? Let me share a few ideas that counselor Elyse Fitzpatrick suggests in regards to keeping our mindset biblical:
God has called me to be a servant, not a queen who is owed adoration or praise. (Luke 22:26)
I have been commanded to love and appreciate others, not to be loved or appreciated. (John 13 and 15; 2 Corinthians 2:8)
Since others have been commanded to love me, I must seek to make their task easy by serving and caring for them (Matthew 22:38-40).
My desire for the praise of man is just that: a desire. It isn't a need. Everything that I truly need has been given to me in Christ (Luke 12:29-30, 2 Peter 1:2-4)
I need to be focused more on being thankful for what the Lord and others have done for me (Psalm 28:7).
I must seek to lay down my life in response to God's lovingkindness (Luke 9:23-24).
The desire for praise is an avenue for sin that I must guard against (the book of Esther; Matthew 27:18).
When I believe that I need praise, appreciation, or acceptance from others I become enslaved to their opinions. That slavery will hinder my ability to speak the truth in love to them (John 12:42-43). (Taken from Overcoming Fear, Worry and Anxiety, p.75-76.)
Thoughts? How do you handle your desire to be appreciated by your husband?
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