On Words and Weakness {Construction School for Wives}

I wrote last week about grace. About how much we are loved despite all our complete and utter failings.

Construction School for Wives

This week, I’ve sat down three times to begin this post that I’ve been living with over the last month and I am broken. I want to cry.

The baby is all snotty. The toddler girls (are almost 4 year olds still toddlers?) are going through a phase of disobedience, whining, and disrespect that requires almost constant discipline. My husband and I skipped date night talks in favor of playing a video game and almost seem like teammates just trying to clean up the messes of 3 kids three and under. Oh, and my in-laws are visiting. And I just want to withdrawal.

Do you know who I have the hardest time giving grace to?


I should know how to speak love to my husband. I’ve been married for 7 years now. I should get this. I should have grown.” I repeat over and over in my head.

I have a problem with pride and self-righteousness as you can clearly see. I’m also strong-willed. Mix that in a wife together and you have the perfect recipe for words that wound or defend more than words that build up a husband.

At the start of this month, I read a lot of scripture on words and using them wisely. I began a post outlining my plan to memorize some scripture, pray about timing rather than just confront an issue immediately, and daily seek to speak in a way that builds up my husband. Obviously, that’s not the post you’re reading.

Because that plan was not God’s plan for this month of learning to love my husband with my words. God used that scripture to prepare my heart as over and over and over again I failed. I was snarky or impatient or demanding or confronted an issue in a way that put him on the defensive. I built him up with words at most once a day. And most of those were simple, “Thank you for….” Actually, when I share this post with my husband prior to sharing with you, I’m pretty sure he’ll say “I didn’t know you were training to speak words of grace.”

Ladies, I failed and my first reaction is to quit. But you see, God wanted me in this place of already wanting to quit. Only when I am in a place of weakness can I rely on grace. Pride negates grace. (<—-Click to Tweet!) If I can do it on my own, then I don’t need Jesus.

Oh, what I’ve learned most this month is that I desperately need Jesus. I need Jesus to stay my tongue when Derek disappoints me. I need Jesus to whisper when to confront sin in my husband’s life and when to wait on Jesus to work first. I need Jesus to enable me to find areas to build my husband up with my words. I need Jesus to snuggle that snotty 1 year old when he really ought to be napping. I need Jesus to motivate me to face toddler discipline issues with consistency and grace (just like Jesus deals with me when I fail and sin and spend years learning the same thing).

I’ll likely be writing on words again next month, as Jesus continues to work in my heart now that I have admitted that I can’t do this on my own. And now that Derek knows the first way I’m seeking to love him more, I hope he’ll feel more able to hold me accountable and say: “Those words hurt and this is why.” or “These words built me up. Thank you.”

So tell me, sisters, what area of your marriage do you need Jesus and His grace to wash over the most? And how can you and I approach these areas in weakness, depending solely on His amazing grace rather than our own capability?