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Never in the Dog House: Reclaim Joy in a Christian Marriage

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There are days hubby messes up so bad he deserves to be put in the dog house.  Well, it feels that way anyway.  Can you relate? 

When I have a conflict with my husband, he immediately falls into the “undeserving” category in my mind.

  • If his actions don’t align with my desires and expectations
  • If he doesn’t “cooperate”
  • Or if he doesn’t respond like the godly husband he is “supposed” to be

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Well, he deserves to know just how terrible he is being. So I put him in the proverbial dog house.

I would never actually admit that in the moment, or even use that phrase, but you know the atmosphere

  • The silent treatment
  • Talk-to-the-hand
  • I’m too busy cleaning to give you the time of day.

Why? Because I’m mad. Because I don’t want to let him off the hook, I’m going to let him dangle a little while in the presence of my wrath.  Or is it just me?

We never verbalize this because it sounds ridiculous, but we do it.

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God never puts us in the Dog House

James 1:17 “Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights”.

Our Heavenly Father is the model gift giver. What makes this remarkable is that we are law-breakers!  We deserve death and separation so every gift we receive from Him is an undeserved one, yet, God’s countenance toward us is always loving and never spiteful.

Psalm 103:8-10 “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.  He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.”

Can you imagine giving gifts to someone who you want to put in the doghouse?  Not just giving gifts, but abounding with gifts toward them?

If I’m being honest, I squirm at the thought.  I am not like God

It is so easy to feel justified in making our spouse earn our love back.  Demand that he make-up for all the hurt he caused us.   But take it from a wife who has done it wrong many, many times—it doesn’t heal, it doesn’t help, it doesn’t match the image of Christ.

When we mess up God forgives us:  He Never puts us in the Dog House

God is gracious to forgive us – every time we mess up.  It is something that brings great joy to our relationship.  That kind of joy is possible in our Christian Marriage.

When we chose to Forgive our husband it brings joy to our marriage.  We can ask God to give us spiritual eyes to see the restoration that can take place through the undeserved gift of forgiveness.

We can follow the example of our Father and be a lavish, undeserved-gift giver.   It is possible to abound with mercy and steadfast love toward your husband.

  • Let’s chose to extend grace rather than a scowl.
  • Refuse to repay evil for evil.
  • Release your tight grasp on resentment and open your arms wide with forgiveness.

Ask the Holy Spirit to do this work in you because this response is not something you can muster up alone.  It flows from a heart transformed by mercy; the gratitude of a sinner who has never known the “dog house” of a holy God.

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Stephanie Smith writes at Read Cook Devour where she shares reliable recipes, strategies for kingdom-minded living, and devotional thoughts. She recently published Undivided, a Devotional Bible Study in 1 Samuel. Stephanie lives with her husband and two children on the west coast of Florida. She is most likely to jump into a conversation about good food or impactful literature. In between housework Stephanie takes advantage of her sometimes-clean kitchen to cook or bake another mess. She enjoys a glass of wine, but can usually be talked into ice cream instead.

166 Shares

Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith writes at Read Cook Devour where she shares reliable recipes, strategies for kingdom-minded living, and devotional thoughts. She recently published Undivided, a Devotional Bible Study in 1 Samuel. Stephanie lives with her husband and two children on the west coast of Florida. She is most likely to jump into a conversation about good food or impactful literature. In between housework Stephanie takes advantage of her sometimes-clean kitchen to cook or bake another mess. She enjoys a glass of wine, but can usually be talked into ice cream instead.

3 thoughts to “Never in the Dog House: Reclaim Joy in a Christian Marriage”

  1. We can get very prideful can’t we?! Remembering we are not deserving of the love we get from God holds a good reminder to give it freely to others as well.

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