When my husband has offended me, do I pray for him or criticize and harbor bitterness toward him?

Pondering over this question doesn’t take long for conviction to set in.  When I’ve been offended, after 21 1/2 years of marriage, I can clam up!  Now, I’d love to take only the high road here and say that I’m being a Godly woman when this happens.  I mean, God’s word clearly states, “Let your words be few”, right?  And in James He says to let every person be quick to hear, ‘slow to speak’, slow to anger…  Of course, I should let my words be few.  I should clearly think through everything I say for words are powerful.  And I can honestly say that sometimes the ‘clamming up’ is a good thing… briefly.  But what happens when I don’t speak for too long is that bitterness is building and building inside my heart.  God says in Eph. 4:31, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” He goes on to help us know what should take the place of these detestable things, which are 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

When did the ‘honeymoon’ end?  When did I begin allowing myself to harbor bitterness and criticize my husband?  (I chose not to obey…Eph. 4:26)   Why, if I’m a child of the King of Kings (I like to see myself as a princess…yes, it’s having 3 girls) do I not obey?  Do I think that harboring bitterness is going to bring me closer to my husband?  Strengthen our relationship?  Give me a closer relationship to my Savior?  Give my children a clear picture of Christ and His bride?  Make me more lovely in my husband’s eyes?  Give joy and delight to my Savior?

God says “Do not repay evil for evil, or railing for railing; but contrariwise blessing; knowing that to this you are called, that you should obtain a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9  That old Scottish song just popped into my head, “I’ll take the high road and you take the low road and I’ll get to Scotland afore ye.”  We, as born again Christian’s are to take the ‘high road’, God’s road.

And when in the world did I begin thinking it was ok to share or ‘vent’ to my children or friends about offenses done to me?  (conviction again)  I should always bring my burdens to Christ first and then ask for prayer from friends without having to share details of how I was so very wronged.  Forbid it Lord that I am or become a quarrelsome women where it would be better for my husband to live in a corner of the house, or that he should want to!  (Proverbs 21:9)  Another verse for me to pray I don’t become like is, “It is better to dwell in a desert land than with a contentious and an angry or fretful woman.” Proverbs 21:19

So, as I go about my day today, first I am going to repent to my husband for ever criticizing him and harboring bitterness.  I can’t site specific moments right now, but that doesn’t matter.  If I could remember them I would be specific, but I will repent and ask his forgiveness nonetheless.  1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sings and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Then I will try to keep these verses on my mind, or at least have my bible open today for moments when I can take a short break to feed my soul.  Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

Praying for the Holy Spirit’s help is key!  We are in a war, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12  My husband is not the enemy! (read all of Ephesians 6:10-20)

To God be the glory!

Other scriptures to meditate upon:  Mark 11:25 “And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

James 5:9 “Do not grumble against one another, brothers (sisters), so that you may not be judged; behold the Judge is standing at the door.

Ephesians 4:26-27 “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”

Romans 6:14 “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”