I've been re-reading the book the Excellent Wife and just had to share this selection from Chapter 3. It is a favourite and never grows old for me.
A chapter from the Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
Principle #3 Bitterness Hinders Love ( don't let the title deter you!)
Many of the wives I have counseled have told me they were not bitter, they were however "hurt". Gently, I explain to them that the emotions of feeling "hurt" or "resentful" are usually how you feel when you are bitter. There are several common signs of bitterness. As you read through the following list, ask yourself if you are manifesting any of these signs:
(OK, BUCKLE UP BECAUSE HERE IS WHERE GOD'S SWORD IS ABOUT TO DIVIDE BETWEEN SOUL AND SPIRIT- :)
Common Signs of Bitterness
1. Gossip and slander
In the process of complaining, the wife gossips about him and slanders her husband, thereby defiling others.She has either nothing or very little that is good to say about him.
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled...
2.Ungrateful and Complaining
The wife is not grateful to her husband.She murmurs to herself and complains to others about him
Do all things without grumbling or disputing...Phil. 2:14
Whatever he does is suspect in her eyes. Even if he does something nice, she thinks his motive must be off. For example, "He only did that to look good to his parents." "I know it seemed like a nice gesture, but he didn't really mean it."
Therefore do not go one passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God. 1 Corinthians 4:5
The wife spends a lot of time thinking about herself. She is very self-absorbed. Her focus is fixed on herself and the hurts done against her.
...do not merely look out for your own personal interests...Phil. 2:4
Grief and hurt has crowded out any joy, peace or love that she used to have. It has, in fact, filled up her heart. It may, at times, overwhelm her.
But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. John 16:6
The wife looks for ways to avoid her husband. Perhaps she leaves when he is home, pouts or gives him the cold shoulder. she is paying him back for what he has done to her.
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone...Never take your own personal revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God... Romans 12:17,19
The wife broods about what her husband has done. She thinks about it often and plays it over and over in her mind.
Love does not take into account a wrong suffered. 1 Cor. 13:5
8.Loss of Joy
Lately, the wife has little or no delight in her relationship with the Lord. Because of her sin, instead of God's peace and joy, she is experiencing intense emotional pain and misery.
And I shall delight in Thy commandments which I love. Psalm 119:47
9. A Critical, Judgmental Attitude
It is difficult for the wife to take her focus off what her husband has done wrong and foucs instead on what she is doing wrong.
You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. Matt. 7:5
If your husband has hurt you, it will help if you take a moment and think about what percentage of the problems in your marriage are his responsibility and what are your fault. For example, suppose you believe that the problems in your marriage are 40% your fault and 60% his responsibility.
God wants you to begin biblcally dealing with your bitterness by taking 100% responsibility for your 40%.