This past week I was challenged in kindness. Early in my faith walk God revealed to me the importance of honoring my husband in word and action. It was what God used... and how God used me... to transform my husband.
Now that he and I share the same path I will forget, from time to time, the importance of honoring him in my words and actions... still. I saw it this past week, I began to pray through it, and Sunday I became fully convicted of it.
Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God's hand for that person.
- Proverbs 3:27-28 (The Message)
You see, my husband likes to talk. We joke that he is worse than a woman at times! I can get chatty, but he takes the cake. I marvel at how different we are yet how God draws us together to relate through talk. This talk is often my downfall.
I, on the other hand, have my list of to-dos. Bible study, breakfast, kids on task, blogs, teaching that new math concept, having that heart-to-heart with kid #2 who would rather fiddle the time away then actually do the school work, discuss treaties in history and bone structure in health.... grade papers, make dinner, clean up, read that book the pastor asked me to and, finally, get ready for bed... but I won't go into that elaborate schedule!
You get the idea.
And right-smack-dab in the middle of it, hubby walks in from a meeting and doesn't just share the meeting content but every side tangent too.
I smile and listen at first... then slowly my patience wears and before I know it, I am almost in tears thinking of ALL that I need to be doing. I get short, my words are terse, my actions show agitation and soon, I leave him feeling burdensome and uncared about.
I am not proud.
But... I share all this because I imagine I am not alone. Granted, many husbands leave the home for their work and wives receive that quiet time and look forward to hubby's later return and interruptions... I remember those days... affectionately at times! But some may have husbands that work from home (or, unfortunately, that may be unemployed at this time). While their work and interests keep them busy, there are always those injections to our day that we aren't prepared for. The syphon of our time we had hoped to keep for our own intent and purposes.
Are we being selfish?
The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others... harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds!
- Galatians 6:8a (Mes)
Yes, to a point we are. My old rebuttal was, "So is he because he won't see the time I need for other things." But if a wholly honorable marriage begins with complete selflessness, glorifying God with our language and actions, then wouldn't it stand to reason our husband's need for us, our time, our ear to hear... are greater than our need for that time to other things? God first, spouse second, kids and so on. If we choose not to honor the sanctity of our marriage, won't weeds begin to sprout?
On our way home from church I humbled myself and apologized for a week of short attitudes. I wanted to say "But..." through the whole thing, however, we should never apologize with a contingency. I was able to share my feelings; how I feel I can't do all God calls me to for His kingdom work when we take a 30 minute discussion and drag on for 2 hours. (I said it with more grace than that!).
He heard me.
The kids went in the house and we stayed in the car talking... sharing our hearts and desires. I found and understood the root of it all: his need to align with me. He wants me to know what he has going on and what he is thinking and feeling... and he desires to know my heart too. But that takes time each day to sit and discuss.
We problem solved. Agreed to keep our daytime conversations short and to the point so our work was not put so far off course. I agreed to let him know when our talks are getting lengthy and I needed to get to a task. But most importantly, we agreed to a set-aside time each day to have our heart-to-hearts... to align our spirits in all we have going on. I acknowledged his need for me and he recognized my needs too.
I felt honored... and honorable. Much more than continuing into a new week with lengthy daytime conversations and terse responses. I found what I needed as the result of my submission and Christ-led humility. I don't feel like I won... or lost.... I feel honor and that is the spirit that glorifies God most in these matters.
I pray to live in that honorable place each day. With word and action. I pray you may know the peace and humility that leads to honor in those difficult situations too.
Many Blessings to you in the week ahead,
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.
– Colossians 4:6 (NRSV)
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