A while back, I asked a good friend of mine to tell me what kind of topics she would like to hear about, if I was to create a workshop. Her response made me laugh at first and I loved her honesty when she said that she would attend if we addressed how not to be a bitch when he’s being a bastard.

This title cracks me up and has the potential to offend some people but the truth of the matter is, how do we, as women, stop reacting in a bitchy way when we feel like our man is being a total bastard? Some of you will stop reading now because your marriage is amazing and he only ever behaves in the most beautiful way. Your needs are always met, your love language is always spoken and you are the most important person in his world. I love that there are marriages out there like that and it makes my heart happy knowing that there are relationships that bring only joy.

But for those who aren’t quite there yet and wonder if it ever gets better, I hope today, this is a little shot of hope for you. It does get better and it can be better than you could ever imagine, with loads of intention and some work. Oh yeah I did, I said it, work. You know work isn’t a bad thing right? You know that there are rewards when you work? The feeling of accomplishment, satisfaction, purpose, pride are just some of the benefits of those who work. “Work” is defined in the dictionary as “exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something”. My question then would simply be, “what do you want to accomplish?” What are you prepared to put effort towards in order to produce something? By reacting in a bitchy way to your bastardly husband, what will be accomplished? My thoughts are that your flesh may feel good telling him what you think of him but in the long run, does that really serve you well?

Whether you believe it or not, the Bible has a lot to say about how to live in a manner that benefits not only you, but those around us.

Colossians 3:12-14 (The Passion Translation – such gold in this translation) says the following: “You are always and dearly loved by God! (*stop and let THAT sink in for a minute – YOU ARE ALWAYS AND DEARLY LOVED BY GOD*) So put on the garment of the virtues of God, since you have been divinely chosen to be holy. Be merciful as you endeavour to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all. Be gentle and humble, unoffendable in your patience with others. Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them. For love is supreme and must flow through each of these virtues. Love becomes the mark of true maturity.”

So, how do you not be a bitch when he is being a bastard? Put on the garment of the virtues of God.

1. Be merciful (showing kindness and compassion) to him as you try to understand him or others. Be curious of what it is about the circumstance that is causing his bastard behaviour. Sometimes just asking the question calmly and in love “What’s happening in your world today that made you behave that way?” can cool things down and allow you to get to the root of the issue because truly, the issue is never really the issue… (but we’ll leave that for another day!)

2. Be gentle (not severe or rough) and amiable (friendly and lovely). Sometimes this also means to hold your tongue and choose not to say what you’re thinking.

3. Be humble (respectful and without pride). Take responsibility for your own actions and reactions and allow him space to readjust his thinking/reactions.

4. Be unoffendable (now that seems easier said than done but it must be a trait we need to possess in order to walk in love otherwise it wouldn’t be in the Bible!) What does that look like then? Well, my husband is super hard to offend – believe me, I’ve tried. One time I asked him how he lives the unoffended life and his answer stumped me. He said, “Well, I think about what someone has said and then ask myself, Is what they are saying true? If I answer yes then I try to change but if I answer no, I dismiss their remarks as not important.”

5. Be patient. Choose the higher road in your response. Find out what you want your relationship to look like and stand for, then pursue that. Patiently correct poor behaviour. Breathe deeply. Inhaling and exhaling in your patience.

6. Tolerate weakness. We’ve all got them so remind yourself that he is on a journey just like you are on a journey.  Your mission is to bring good to those around you and as you take your eyes off yourself, you will find a freedom and gratitude that allows you to be much more tolerant of others.

7. Forgive straight away. This is a must. Grudge-keeping is yuck and destructive. It only focuses on the negative and fails to see the good so let go of it and forgive. Forgiveness is a process and in some instances, forgiveness happens layer, after layer. Just when you think you’ve nailed it, something will trigger you and you realise you haven’t quite nailed it yet so start the process again and forgive.

8. Continue to loveLove is supreme and must be in the flow of all of these virtues because love becomes the mark of true maturity. To love is a choice and it’s one that we sometimes have to choose to make daily – even multiple times a day. Love from the centre of who you are, don’t fake it. We all need to grow in love and the perfect example of true love is our Father God.

If you’re struggling to know how to love well, follow the lead of our Father and do what He does. Ephesians 5:1-2 says it best “Watch what God does, then do it, like children who learn proper behaviour from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him, and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that!

 

P.S. Obviously, I’m writing in regards to your response during these irritating times that, I would hope, you may only experirence every now and then. I am by no means downplaying how difficult it is if it is beyond a “bastard moment” here and there. I would encourage you to get help if this is a lifestyle for either one of you. And if the behaviour is at all controlling, abusive, threatening, then PLEASE seek out the help immediately! Sending much love.

 

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