Messes in marriage are very often like storms . . .
Let’s say that I’m feeling physically drained, but have a very long list of things I need to get done on a certain day. I may not have done anything “wrong” per se, but all the right ingredients are present to form a “cloud” out on the horizon.
Then my husband enters the picture. He notices my stressed attitude, my preoccupation with busyness and feels overlooked, maybe even ignored. So he makes a casual comment to me to bring this fact to my attention. All of sudden, I feel guilty, frustrated and burdened even more. That’s when the cloud begins to build and pick up a stronger current.
I have a choice at this point. I can realize what’s developing or I can keep my nose to the grindstone and snap back at him. Very often, I am not self-aware enough to take this step back. Very often, I’ve neglected my time with God on a busy, stressful day. So not only am I operating in my own strength, which is very limited, but I’m missing out on the insightfulness and consideration that only God can bring to my heart in a time like this. So “lightning” begins to electrify the mood between me and my husband.
Let’s say that we’ve let time go by because we believe we do not have the time to deal proactively with our attitudes and actions. Before we know it, the storm gains strength. We are now going in circles—giving birth to the proverbial vicious cycle. You might say that a “tornado” begins to spiral downward.
You’d think at this point, we’d take cover—hide under the wings of the Almighty. But no, we are like fearless, stupid storm watchers (not skilled storm chasers) who like the thrill of watching the fury of our relationship swirl around in the winds of our pride and fear.
When all is said and done, we wake up to the devastation that only a real tornado can bring. Damage has been done to our marriage, so we drift apart and allow our anger and confusion to rule the day.
Do you have days, weeks or months like this?
Are you aware enough and willing enough to stop its progression?
I hope so! I know from personal experience that it’s not easy. And as I’ve allowed opportunities to intervene go by, it becomes increasingly more difficult to stop . . . the perfect storm.
But there is hope because we serve a God who is able to speak and command the storm to stop. We don’t have that power, but as we turn to Him for compassion, grace, mercy, and love, He is able to use our willingness and trust in Him to calm the storm in our lives.
“Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake … Then he [Jesus] got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!’”
Matthew 8:24a & 26b-27 (NIV)
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you can hide. His truth will be your shield and protection.” Psalm 91:4 (NCV)
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed.” Psalm 34:18 (NCV)