We are in an unending process of learning. Here I thought I would “know it all” after graduating high school. How blissfully ignorant I was. Being a wife specifically is a constant reminder that I still have so much to learn. There are conflicts in my and Jason’s marriage that despite all the time spent together and all that we know about each other we still revisit now and again. One in particular is the roles we play within our marriage and family. We’ve discussed and defined our expectations at length. In short Jason works while I manage our home and care for our children. Essentially our roles have remained the same but with the changes of seasons, jobs, moves, we still have to evaluate little areas here and there so we can best support each other. Each overarching role has many responsibilities and unique challenges to accompany it. There are decisions Jason must make, loads he bears, and pressures he endures that I would implode over. Having said that, he has told me countless times that “I couldn’t do what you do every day.” Even though Jason and I are aware that we could not do what the other one does, satan still manages to trip us up on this matter. It’s easy to get shortsighted and forget how important the other persons role is and what all it entails. Satans method of attack usually begins with one or both of us thinking “I do SO much.” This thought isn’t wrong in itself. The problem for me is when:
1.) That thought turns into an attitude of entitlement. “I do so much so he should do…..”
2.) I take a victim approach. “I do so much and he doesn’t appreciate it.”
3.) I start keeping score.
Those are just a few examples off the top of my head. I’ve done all these things and more. Even in my best efforts when I try to be selfless and ignore my own pettiness, occasionally I struggle with feelings of resentment and bitterness. This morning was such a time. As I drove home from taking the girls to school I could already sense some unwanted feelings. I began to sing along with the radio, hoping the lyrics would reach into the ugly places of my heart and strengthen me through the Spirit. Needless to say music was not enough. When I got home, I immediately went to my quiet place. I had my Bible, my journal, and The Power of the Praying Wife. I meditated over several Psalms and God was gracious to impart these scriptures to me this morning.
Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord, keep watch over the door of my lips. Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil. Psalm 141:3-4
When my Spirit grows faint within me, it is you who knows my way. Psalm 142:3
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift my soul. Psalm 143:8
Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you. Jeremiah 7:23
There again is that word obey 😉
I would like to say that when I finished praying our morning went just swimmingly. The process of growth and change does tend to be slow. God is so good though. He did honor my prayer and “set a guard over my mouth”. Praise Jesus! If you know me, that’s nothing short of a miracle. Sometimes saying nothing is just where the Lord wants us to begin. (Key word being “begin” I do not recommend camping there long.) There is a time for godly communication and it is necessary for a healthy relationship.
Be encouraged wives! God can and will work in your marriage as you seek Him and obey Him. Galatians 6:9 says “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” I prayed several times (once with a trusted confidant that knows just how ugly I can get!) and God began to not only soften and cleanse my heart but he was also working on Jason’s heart as well. We still have a long way to go but I praise Him for where He has brought us from.
In the book Sacred Marriage Gary Thomas writes this:
“What marriage has done for me is hold up a mirror to my sin. It forces me to face myself honestly and consider my character flaws, selfishness, and anti-Christian attitudes, encouraging me to be sanctified and cleansed and to grow in godliness.”
“Allow your marriage relationship to stretch your love and to enlarge your capacity for love- to teach you to be a Christian.”
My prayer is this- That my marriage would drive me daily to God for grace, demonstrate his beautiful design for family and ultimately point people to Jesus. Are you with me? 🙂