OK…This marriage challenge is really getting the better of me. Uggh!
I picked up this book with the intent to be a better wife; and as a result, I’m being confronted with my own selfishness and short comings – and it sort of stinks.
I didn’t realize when I picked up this book that it was going to be MY challenge, or any challenge at all; that’s because I’m not always a dot connector. It didn’t say “challenge” anywhere in the title, just 31 Days to a Happy Husband. I guess I figured that my hubby would get happy through osmosis.
If I’d known it involved a challenge on my part, I’d have picked up one of the other marriage books on the shelf, like The Four Seasons of Marriage or The Five Love Languages, or even Seven Principles for Making Your Marriage Work; you know, titles with single digit numbers in it. Duh, Tiff! The number “31” should have been a deal breaker. What’s wrong with me?
So yes, it’s much harder than I thought it would be. It’s hard because I’m learning that I’m a seriously flawed person and that I have to try really hard to be a good wife. I mean, I thought I was a good wife, but there’s always room for improvement! (Some of us have to try harder than others.)
That might sound like I’m being overly harsh on myself, and it may be an embarrassing admission; but it’s my truth, and I’m owning up to it – at least for now (as I expect that I will change for the better). But you know what? Knowing is half the battle; and if I know I’m scrubbing in some area, then I have a chance to work on that to improve upon it.
I didn’t always feel this way. I knew I wasn’t a perfect person, but I was certain that most of the conflict in my marriage was due to my husband, like, just breathing air. :o)
It’s a funny thing, the realization that as we grow in Christ, the Holy Spirit is constantly showing us areas in our lives that are not pleasing to Him; areas in our lives that need tweaking – or even complete eradication!
Lately, the Lord’s been showing me that I’ve been keeping a mental rolodex of things that my husband does that displeases me; and as soon as I’m upset with him, I reach into that rolodex for confirmation that he’s a _____________ (you fill in the blank).
It appears that my natural default is to be critical of my hubby. (No one has told me this; it’s just the Lord’s still and quiet voice speaking to my spirit, in hopes that I won’t ruin my marriage and my family.) So, I constantly have to ask the Lord to help me see my husband through His eyes, through the prism of Scripture. If I did, I would consider my husband better than myself, I would overlook his offenses, I would keep no record of his wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5), I would give thanks that he stepped in to parent my child – a child that was not his biologically – yet he loved her as his own, I would give thanks that I have a companion, someone who deeply loves me and that I don’t have to do life alone. I WOULD GIVE THANKS!
This is how we know that we belong to God: we don’t give up when things are unbelievably hard. We don’t give in, we keep trying because trying means that we’re more like Christ; it shows that we’re not allowing our hearts to be hardened, that we’re not quenching the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit teaches us to keep pushing through the hard stuff. We do everything we can not to accept defeat. It’s all about pleasing Christ and being more like Him. To oversimplify, we care!
When we stop caring…we start taking steps backwards.
When we stop caring…we start dying (the death of those relationships that matter most to us).
My daughter (age 10) accepted Christ into her heart some years ago, and I genuinely see her trying to grow in the faith.
Recently, I asked her to do a house chore at a time which was inconvenient to her. She immediately started to do it, then looked back at me and in a soft, sweet voice said, “Mom, I’m trying to have a better attitude about helping.” I looked at her and told her that that’s how I know that she loves the Lord – she’s trying to correct the attitude of her heart to please Him.
I’m so glad that the Holy Spirit got a hold of her heart and encouraged her to change. It shows that she values the Lord and cares about her relationship with Him – she tries to please Him (her parents) by caring enough to work on uprooting sin.
I told her the problem is not that she struggles with being upset; the problem would be if she stopped fighting against the urge to be upset. I let her know that she will struggle with doing what’s right for the rest of her life – but to keep up the struggle and stay in the fight! It’s a “good fight” (2 Timothy 4:7); the best fight she will ever take on (1 Timothy 6:12). So don’t quit! The rewards are well worth it.
Well, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander; or in this case, what’s good for the daughter is good for the momma.
Likewise, if the Holy Spirit is revealing areas in my life that are displeasing to Him, I know that He will give me the power to overcome it. He definitely doesn’t want me to despair over the situation because there is hope in the Lord and power to walk in victory!
BREAKING NEWS:::I actually had a breakthrough today in an area that I’ve struggled with – for years; and I’m so grateful to God that I finally made a decision to respond in a God glorifying way – it’s only been about 21 years in the making! (It certainly takes me a long time to round the learning curve.) :o)
That’s one small victory for Tiffiney, one giant leap for my marriage!
Keep fighting for the marriage you want. Don’t be content with anything less than what’s ideal. Envision your marriage being loving, mutually satisfying and God glorifying. Then get to work at achieving it!
Want MORE. Try HARDER. JUST DO IT!
Hugs and Kisses,
Are you up to taking the marriage challenge with me? Don’t worry, you won’t be graded. You can even take it as an undercover agent, like me! Go ahead and buy this book. I’m only on day four, but it’s oh, so good! Just do it!
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