I have been married now for six months. My husband and I dated for about 3 years before we got married. I always used to look at those women who nagged at or berated their husbands and thought, “I will never be like that.” I thought the bitter wife scriptures and being submissive to your husband scriptures would not be an issue for me. Despite my 30 years of singleness and years of dating before marriage, I am those women I used to pity. I am having a truly hard time being kind, sweet, and submissive to my absolutely wonderful husband. I hope I’m not alone in this.
“[her] mouth speaks from the overflow of [her] heart” (Luke 6:45)
Judging from my criticism towards my husband and my near constant state of unrest, I have seen much darker parts of my heart than I like to see. My heart is restless and judgmental of myself and constantly striving towards perfection. It makes so much sense that I would put that onto my husband and constantly expect him to do more without really understanding why. I have never seen so many of my faults in one day. I have never seen this completely ugly and impatient side of my heart so much before. I focus so easily on the negative. This happens in my perspective on marriage, on myself, and in the people around me. I get overwhelmed so easily with stress from work and thoughts about ways that I feel I am falling short.
Even if you don’t have a husband, we still tend to be so critical towards others as women. I believe this is because we are so critical of ourselves. I think it comes out more in marriage because we are constantly around one person that the world tells us is supposed to make us feel loved and worthy. I think God knows that we struggle with rest as women. Of course He knows, He made us! The word peace in different forms is mentioned over 400 times in the Bible, but the word fear is mentioned about 100 times more than the word peace. How did the serpent entice Eve in the garden? By playing on her fear that she wasn’t measuring up, that she could be greater.
How do we achieve peace? I’ve asked many times for God to make me peaceful and to give me peace, but I think God’s plan for us having peace calls us so much higher than just sitting back and “feeling” better momentarily.
In Matthew 5:9, Jesus said, “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Psalm 34:14 says, “Search for peace, and work to maintain it.” When I first read these scriptures, I thought that this was opposite of being still (Psalm 46:10), but I believe that in order to seek peace, we must be still.
When I am allowing my thoughts and heart to be restless and seeing all the negative around me, my eyes are not on God and my heart doesn’t remind myself of His power and the way He makes all things work together for the good (Romans 8:28). When I am searching for peace in every moment of my day, my eyes must be turned towards God, because He is our peace and our comfort and our grace for those moments we feel totally undeserving. Striving for peace and wondering why we don’t have it just means that our eyes are inward and looking at our own faults.
Let us search for peace in those moments of our lives that seem devoid of peace: those moments right after I get snippy with my husband or have an unkind thought. Those are the moments that we must still our souls and seek peace, because in that action, we are seeking God and who He created us to be. Do not allow Satan or those old negative thoughts to cause doubt in the incredible person God created when He made you. There may be a lot of unrest in your heart, as there is in mine, but God is in there too. Seek Him.