Your husband does something that drives you crazy. Your husband says something that hurts you. Your husband neglects to do something that angers you and makes you feel like he doesn’t care. Your husband has some bad characteristics. Your husband has some nasty habits. But that’s what we are there for, right? To help them change!
Five Ways to Change Your Husband
- Nag. You can nag him to death until he does whatever it is you want him to do.
- Complain (especially in front of other people). Complain and be so annoying about his behavior that he eventually changes.
- Use sarcasm as a way to bring the problem to light, but do it in a joking, yet criticizing way.
- Manipulate! Whether through tears or saying those “trigger words” that you know will get him to react. Take all necessary measures to manipulate.
- Criticize and insult his negative behavior until it changes. (Again, works really well in front of others)
Bonus- Come at him in the “name of Jesus”. Point out his undesirable behavior as a way to “sharpen” him. You’re just trying to help him be more like Jesus!
Woof. We all read that and scoff, but seriously, BE HONEST. HOW MANY OF US DO THAT AND EXPECT POSITIVE RESULTS?! Why would your spouse ever change his behavior due to you nagging, complaining, being sarcastic, manipulating, criticizing/insulting them, or even coming at him in the name of Jesus? Your negative reaction will only create more negative results.
Here’s the major problem with trying to change your spouse.
“Nowhere in Scripture are we told to change people. Only God changes people. He has not ordained you as judge, jury, and executioner over your spouse.” ( Don and Sally Meredith, 2 Becoming One, pg. 75)
As wives we feel like we are given the role of judge, jury, and executioner over our husband’s behavior, but that could not be farther from the truth. And when we do act within those “roles” we only make matters worse.
When was the last time your husband said something that hurt you and instead of retaliating, you responded with forgiveness, grace, and unconditional love? When was the last time your husband didn’t put his dishes in the dishwasher (for the 100th time) and instead of throwing a fit, you simply did it for him (not begrudgingly, not sassily, you just kindly put the dish away) and then gave him a kiss?
It may seem insane to respond to your spouse’s negative behavior with only unconditional love, but that is actually how God desires for you to respond, and the only response that actually brings positive results.
What can change your husband?
God and God alone. His Spirit is the only person in the “people-changing” industry. Do you trust God to change your spouse? Do you trust God to mold your husband the way He wants to? Which, by the way, may or may not be the way you want God to change your spouse.
Can you pray for your husband to change?
Absolutely. You should pray for your spouse every day, constantly. In fact, I believe that prayer is the most powerful thing you can do for your spouse! But let me give you a word of caution. Typically, our favorite prayer is:
“Lord, change my husband…”
However, God’s favorite prayer to hear and answer is:
“Lord, change me.”
Your spouse may need to change some behaviors, attitudes, or characteristics. But so do you. He may not show you kindness, forgiveness, and grace all the time– but neither do you. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “blame game” of marriage. “I behave this way because you treat me that way.” But you can’t control your spouse and you can’t change your spouse.
You can, however, control yourself.
So if you want your husband to change, start by asking God to change you in the areas that He knows you need to change. Ask God to help you see your spouse as His gracious gift and provision to you. Ask God to give you the ability to unconditionally love, show grace, extend forgiveness and respond in kindness every time your spouse doesn’t deserve it.
Remember, you and I have never once done anything to deserve God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, or kindness. Never once. We are far too sinful and selfish– and yet He bestows his unconditional love and grace on you and me every moment of every day. Ask God to show you how powerful His love is in you and through you by empowering you to love your spouse well and trust God’s work in your spouse, and stop acting like the judge, jury, or executioner that God never intended for you to be.