We had an argument recently. Not even really an argument. I went to talk about an idea that has been soaking deeper and deeper within to my husband. I just wanted to talk and share what God was leading me to dream and think of. I just wanted him to listen and give me a little advice on management stuff. That’s all.
Well, that conversation led to another conversation about how we need to be more present for our kids and not let our “jobs” be priority. I really was trying to use the words “us” and “we” and “me” more than the word “you”, but my husband felt as if I was speaking about him and choices we made as a couple for our family.
He got defensive and clammed up. I felt that I wasn’t heard and my words were being changed for me and then I clammed up…for two whole days.
Marriage is not easy, but it’s worth working on. You would think that after seventeen years being married to this man that I would understand that he doesn’t hear things the way I do and sometimes I have to change my approach and wording in order to not hurt his feelings or make him feel as if I am attacking him. Oh you would think. But I am still this one woman who is learning that I do not have all the right ways or words.
I firmly believe that one reason we even had this argument and two days of not talking to one another is because we made a commitment to each other and our marriage to do a six week course on marriage and family together in our home and on our own time. This wasn’t even offered by church and we weren’t obligated to do so, but I felt this was something we needed to do. To go further, because Iead a women’s ministry and I thought that this could help others, you know see how real we are, we decided to do a live video each week after we had watched our lessons and done the questions and discussion time.
So, the very week we had our tiff and on the second day of no talking, we had lesson two which was…you guessed it, conflict resolution. Talk about God giving an answer.
We made a commitment and it would have been easy to say that we didn’t want to do the lesson or make a video, but then I would have felt guilty, so I sat next to my husband and I watched the lesson and I answered the questions honestly and then two hours of talking through and hashing out what had really happened two days prior happened. Neither of us left feeling that we were right or the other was right. We left with an understanding that we both wanted the same thing for our family, but we both also needed to approach each other in ways that make us feel as if we are attacked and then climb into our shell of protection.
The one verse that really stuck out to me is James 1:19. It says, “Know this, my beloved brothers (sisters): let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” It keeps replaying in my mind. (Emphasis and wording added)
Friend, I am not perfect and I have a lot of work to do in this marriage, but I know that I am the only person who can change me. I can only change me; not my spouse. I have to do what is pleasing to God. When I don’t feel like I want to love or show love to my husband, I do it anyway because that is what pleases God. When I do what pleases God in my marriage, my heart starts to change and I see the worth of my husband again.
Lord, for the women who are struggling in their marriage with conflict, I ask that you would help them with their hearts. Help them to do what pleases you even if it means serving as a spouse to a husband that doesn’t see You. I ask for comfort and peace as they walk a road that is hard and hurtful. We know that You are in our marriages and the joining of two is from You. Bless the marriages of this world because we give them to You. Amen.