Have you ever found yourself harboring a negative or resentful attitude towards your husband? I know that, for me personally, after we have had an argument I find these types of thoughts lurking around in my mind:
“Why doesn’t he show me more respect?”
“Does he even love me? It seems like I annoy him more than anything?”
“Sometimes he seems so wrapped up in himself!”
These are just a few, but they are thoughts that come to mind when these negative and resentful attitudes rear their ugly head.
But you know what? These resentful thoughts DON’T. HELP. ANYTHING. And they certainly don’t help me to be a better wife. In fact, they almost always make me feel worse. I feel worse because they are not feeding my spirit properly. I feel worse because I am disobeying God and not honoring my husband both in THOUGHT and deed. And I feel worse because these kinds of thoughts open up the door for the enemy to come in and wreak havoc in my life.
And if you find yourself struggling with these types of thoughts towards your husband I want to encourage you that you can battle them. And you can fight them off with the strength of the Lord. Because you don’t want this negativity in your life, trust me.
What does the Bible say about resentment towards your husband?
Let’s begin by taking a look at what the Bible has to say about resentment and negative attitudes towards your husband. Does it have anything to say on this topic? Let’s have a look.
Be in subjection to your husband
The first verse I want to look at is 1 Peter 1:3, which says:
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;” – 1 Peter 1:3
So in 1 Peter we find that wives are to be in subjection (obedience) to their husbands. And it’s interesting to note here the reason why: so that those husbands who don’t believe on Jesus might be won over to the faith because of your conduct! Wow. We are to be setting examples and being a witness purely in our actions towards our husbands.
Submit yourself to your husband
In Colossians 3:18 we are also given more instruction on how to be a wife:
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.” – Colossians 3:18
So we are to submit ourselves to our husbands. And this word here means to be under obedience to. So as long as what our husbands instruct us to do doesn’t go against God’s revealed will, we are to obey them.
Show reverence to your husband
But so far none of these verses outright say that we are to respect our husbands specifically. So let’s have a look at one that does:
“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.” – Ephesians 5:33
So here we are told to show reverence to our husbands. And the word reverence most certainly implies a level of awe and respect towards them. We are to look up to our husbands for guidance and spiritual leadership.
Forgive others in order to be forgiven
Now even though all of those verses were directed specifically towards wives, there’s a lot in the Bible about how we are to treat others collectively. And of course there are a lot of verses about loving others, but one in particular that comes to mind in terms of harboring resentment is this one:
“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”- Matthew 6:14-15
Harboring resentment towards your husband is a witness to the un-forgiveness you have towards him. And the Bible is clear that we are to forgive others in order to be forgiven of our own sins by God. So it’s crucial that we let things go in order to prevent any hindrance to our relationships with God.
Do you have to respect your husband even if he doesn’t deserve it?
In a word: Yes. Nowhere does the Bible say that you can start disrespecting your husband if he doesn’t deserve it. In fact, over and over again God shows love and kindness towards people…who definitely don’t deserve it. These are people who have disrespected and dishonored God over and over again (ahem, us included).
So God makes it clear that our actions and our attitudes towards others shouldn’t be dependent upon whether or not people deserve it, but rather because God commands it.
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” – John 13:34-35
We are to love others (our husband’s included) even as Jesus loved us. And the love Jesus had towards us was a completely selfless, self-sacrificing kind of love. He laid down His life for us, even as we were nailing Him to a cross and abusing Him for sins He didn’t commit. He certainly had every right to come down off that cross and give up on us altogether. But, he didn’t. Not because we deserved to be saved, but because He loved us despite how we treated Him.
How to respond to your husband INSTEAD of being resentful or negative.
But what can you do when your natural reaction is to be resentful or negative? How should you act instead? Well, it’s important to look to the Bible for our instruction about this. And the Bible shows us that we are to respond in a gentle and loving way rather than an angry way:
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1
And we are to carry the peace of God with us at all times, to prevent the root of bitterness from springing up within us:
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;” – Hebrews 12:14-15
It’s important for us to resist the temptation to harbor these thoughts, because they are most certainly not from God. They do not bear the fruits of the spirit, but rather the fruits of the flesh:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7
So we need to lean into God for His strength to resist these thoughts and to conduct ourselves in a way that honors and respects God and our husbands through both our actions and our thoughts.
How to pray for deliverance from bitterness and negativity towards your husband.
When we find ourselves in the situation of being prone to bitterness and negativity towards our husbands, it’s important to lean into God for strength through prayer and supplications. We know that God wants us to put off these thoughts, so we need to pray that He will give us what we need to be able to do that.
Is it okay to pray for your husband to change?
Now your first thought might be to pray for your husband to change. And it’s important to examine this properly. Because, of course, there are times when it is okay to pray for a change in your husband.
When your husband is clearly doing things outside of God’s will, such as being abusive both physically and mentally, or if he is committing adultery, or even harboring anger himself. Whenever you see your husband prone to these sins then, yes, of course it’s okay to pray for your husband’s deliverance!
But be sure that your heart is in the right place when you pray for him. Don’t pray for him with the attitude that he is the only one in the wrong. Because there might be things that God wants you to change too (like your attitude towards him). So pray for your husband out of love and a desire to see him delivered from the sins he struggles with. But don’t allow pride to seep into your prayers. Because when this happens your prayers will be hindered.
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” – Isaiah 59:2
What kinds of things SHOULD I pray for in this situation?
When you find yourself harboring a sinful attitude towards your husband, it’s vital that you pray for deliverance from this. And the most powerful way that you can pray is by praying scripture.
So here are a few scriptures that you can pray over your situation:
“To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.” – Titus 3:2
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;” – Ephesians 4:2
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;” – Colossians 3:12
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:22-24
“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” – Proverbs 21:19
There are many more great verses to use to battle resentment and anger in a marriage. But these are just a few that will greatly help when you pray them over your life. Be sure to look through the Bible to find even more scriptures that you can pray over your exact situation.
How scripture memorization can help to battle negative thoughts and resentment
Another excellent way to battle these thoughts is through scripture memorization. In Ephesians 6 we are told to put on the Amour of God so that we are able to stand in the evil day (when we are tempted). And while most of the pieces of armour are in order to protect ourselves from attack, the one piece of weaponry we are given to fight back with is the Sword of the Spirit:
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” – Ephesians 6:17
The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. And when we wield this in order to fend off the attacks (temptations) of the enemy, we will have far greater success than using our own words. Because God has promised that His Word is sharper than any two edged sword.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12
So memorizing scripture allows us to wield the Sword of the Spirit whenever we are faced with negative thoughts or temptations.
When we have a thought that is contrary to God’s truth we bring that thought into the captivity of Christ by covering it with the truth — the Word of God:
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” – 2 Corinthians 10:5
You can write verses out onto index cards to help with scripture memorization. Or another helpful tool to memorize scripture is to download the Scripture Typer app for your phone which is a great tool to help memorize scripture.
Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones
Another technique you can use (in addition to prayer and scripture memorization, NOT instead of) is to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
When you find yourself going through the list of negative things you don’t like about your husband, instead force yourself to sit there and list off (in your mind or outloud) things that you do like about your husband. List off all the ways that he is a good husband. It can be hard to get started when you’re in the midst of these negative thoughts, but once you do it will start to flow better.
And other idea is to write out a list of positive attributes about your husband when you’re not in an angry moment. Then, if you’re struggling to form good thoughts towards him you can pull out the list and begin reading it and repeating it to yourself.
This kind of thing trains your mind to stop with the negativity and counters it with positivity. It helps you to learn how to have the right attitude and to change your mindset about your husband, even in the midst of times he upsets you.
Kick those negative thoughts and attitudes to the curb, they aren’t helping!
So when we harbor and hold on to bitterness, resentment, anger, and any other negative attitude towards our husbands, it doesn’t help a thing. It will only make you feel worse about yourself, your husband, and your marriage.
But God can repair anything that might be broken within us, or our husbands, and our marriages as a whole. However, it will take some conscious effort and self-discipline to turn from these thoughts and turn back towards the mindset and way of thinking that God desires for you.
The enemy would have you harbor these negative thoughts all day long. He loves it. Don’t give in and don’t allow this to be an open door for the enemy to enter into your life. Fight back with the tools that God has given you. You can do this!
P.S. This article is not meant to be taken as professional marriage advice. If you find yourself in an abusive or destructive situations, please seek help from a professional marriage counselor. There is no shame in getting that kind of help!