Your spouse has been crabby for several days now. You know something is brewing, but when you press for what “it” is, you only get your head bit off for asking. Eventually, your spouse starts an argument. Let’s say that he blames you for some longstanding problem between the two of you. You cannot believe his nerve, when this is the same issue you’ve given so much energy toward resolving over the years.
You think, “This guy should get the MVP for jerk of the year.”
You know that you haven’t been the one to cause the problem these past few days. You know he’s coming at you with an antagonistic spirit. And most of all, you know he’s WRONG! So what should you do?
- You could go toe to toe with this MVP jerk.
- You could spike the Super Bowl chili with Mylanta.
- You could veg out on your couch, ignoring your conflict in favor of watching the Steelers and Packers battle it out.
You could make a “key play” by working on your stinky attitude.
Here are some new strategies and “plays” for changing a stinky attitude:
- Pray daily that God would help and bless your spouse.
- Pray daily for God to reveal the character defects you have that contribute to this problem.
- Find a godly accountability partner who will speak the truth in love to you.
- Take seriously what God and your accountability partner point out about you.
- Begin each day to do one thing that would help change or challenge your character defect(s).
For example, one defect that God has shown me is that I try to control a situation by arguing or defending my part in a problem. So I have challenged myself to listen and ask questions of my husband to gain clarification and understanding. Very often, I find that we both misunderstand each other and that we want the same things. We just “think” that we are against each other when really we are just misunderstanding each other.
Also, when I ask my husband questions I often discover the deeper feelings that we both feel. These deeper feelings pull us in directions that we don’t recognize until we talk through them. Sometimes finding out my true feelings and motivations, is all it takes for me or my husband to want to change. And the deadlock is resolved.
Back to the list – don’t minimize the impact these simple steps will have in your life and marriage. I have discovered so much about myself and my spouse through these simple steps. I have gained compassion for him and broken through denial for me. I’ve not only learned about my argumentative side, but also my need for control, my lack of faith, my fear of being fully known, as well as, the areas where I’ve been wounded in my childhood.
I could go on, but I feel like I’ve given you enough of a peek into the messiness that is me. All I ask in return is that you use it to push yourself further in your quest to become more like Christ and a better (less stinky) mate.