Confessions of an Imperfect Christian Wife
This morning, I was snappy with my husband. I asked him if he thought my shirt was too short to wear with leggings, and he replied in the affirmative. I was irritated because it meant changing my outfit and I was already running late. He took the brunt of my frustration. Then I left the house, slamming the door behind me.
I wish I could say incidents like these were isolated, rare. But they aren't. I'm a feisty, emotional, passionate, opinionated woman, and I'm quick to use my words at the expense of my husband.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I'd like to make a few more confessions. Here are some (but not all) of the ways I am not a perfect "Christian" wife.
- I don't pick up after my husband. It's his mess. He can deal with it.
- My husband does more of the housework and laundry than I do.
- I cook all the meals at my house, not because I think it's my duty, but because my husband isn't a great cook, and I really like good food.
- I'm infinitely selfish.
- When I'm busy, I expect my husband to leave me alone. When I'm not busy, I expect his full attention, regardless of what he's doing.
- I like my husband to give me gifts and cards and flowers, but I very rarely buy him anything.
- When my husband ticks me off, my first instinct is to call a friend. It doesn't even occur to me to pray for him. That idea comes MUCH later.
- When I'm part of a women's retreat that is studying Proverbs 31, I want to throw my bible at someone's head.
- When my husband screws up, I tell him. And I expect him to apologize and make restitution.
- If my husband comes on to me when I'm not in the mood, I get irritated and expect him to understand without complaint. If I come on to him and he's not in the mood, I'm offended.
- I completely expect my husband to take out the trash because he's a man. If he expects me to do something based solely on my gender, I consider him a chauvinist.
- I have occasionally earned more money than my husband, and it didn't occur to me to mind.
- I'm the last one out of bed in the morning, and still get on my husband's case when we are running late to work.
- My husband makes and packs the kid's lunches every morning while I am doing my hair.
I know Christian wives who seem to have an inner sense of nurturing, quiet servanthood. They keep a lovely, color coordinated home, cook nutritious meals without complaint, pray obediently for their husbands, smiling all the time, and never raise their voices. I watch these women with awe. But they are a foreign entity to me. I don't understand them. I don't relate to them.
And here's the really shocking statement: I don't want to be like them.
Because even though I can catalogue my wifely flaws from here to forever, the truth is my marriage ROCKS. My husband is incredibly happy with me, and I with him. We laugh often. Play silly games. Talk about everything. Kiss alot. Have long conversations about what God is saying to us, and examine the bible together. We dream and plan, eat and play, love and linger over cups of coffee.
And when I have a morning like this morning, when my selfishness gets in the way of the love I should be showing my husband, I repent. Quickly. And when I throw myself upon God's grace and mercy to me, I am always amazed at how He receives me back into Himself with love unending, just as I am.
Once, while at a wedding, I was admiring a pretty, quiet, waif-like woman with perfect hair. She was polite, subdued, skinny, and submissive. She was everything I have ever heard the church tell me a Christian wife should be. In a moment of self-disdain I whispered to my husband, "That's the kind of woman I wish I was." He replied, "I wonder who you'd be married to."
If I were anyone other than who I am, my husband wouldn't have wanted me.
Like Jesus, my husband loves me for being me. Sure, my household might run more smoothly if I were a little quieter, a little neater, a little less selfish. But it would also be lacking the life, excitement, joy, and energy I bring to it by being WHO I WAS MADE TO BE.
God created me the way that I am. He is ever changing me, molding me to be more like Him. But when He does this, He makes me a lovelier version of the real me. He doesn't destroy my true self. He reveals it.
It's God's grace that I fall on with this list of flaws. It's God's grace that changes me. I don't want to become a perfect Christian wife by pretending to be something I am not, or by aligning myself with a cultural stereotype. I want to become a wife that is changed by grace, receiving God's love, and giving that love back out abundantly to my husband.
And I want you to be who God's called YOU to be. Regardless of what the church tells you, what our culture tell you. Even if that means that you are the exact opposite of me. (Especially if it means you are the exact opposite of me!) Be the wife that you have been made to be, and fall on grace when you fail. Repent quickly. Receive His great love for you.
For in that Love you'll find all that you need.
Sisters For Real