Just the other day I was feeling gripey.
I don’t know why. And as a woman, I reserve the right to have a gripey day or two every now and then! 😉
Unfortunately, my husband noticed. After 24 years of marriage, I definitely can’t pull one over on him! So I either snapped at him or used my favorite weapon of warfare—sarcasm. The point was that I was offensive and disrespectful. It didn’t feel like that big of deal to me, but it really was.
So I sat there with my thoughts, realizing that I had acted in a careless way with my spouse. I knew what I needed to do. I really believe God whispers most clearly to my heart in those times. But sometimes I try to drown God’s whisper out with , “La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la” (Picture fingers in my ears).
This time, no smoke screen or distraction could keep me from hearing God asking me, “Why won’t you apologize, Beth?”
I wanted to say, “Because he did this or he did that” but I knew those answers fell short.
I knew that my pride was the only thing keeping me from apologizing.
Honestly … I didn’t like that realization.
And I also knew that squashing my pride would hurt. I know, I know—not much, but it does hurt a little! After all, who wants to go toward any level of pain?
God continued to whisper.
I knew I was allowing my hurt to be my comfort (in a weird sort of way).
How sick is that?
What’s more, I knew that even though squashing my pride might hurt, it wouldn’t hurt long and then I’d feel good and as an added bonus my spouse would feel good too!
So I did it. I apologized and all was well.
But let me just say that years ago that apology or positive “change-of-course” would have hurt A LOT. When I was not in a good place—dropping my guard, being humble and vulnerable with my husband was not easy and definitely more painful than it is now. Part of the reason is because we’ve been working very hard (still a work in progress!) to normalize apologies and redirections.
Through the years I’ve seen this very hard process change for the better. It’s sort of like jumping into a cold pool of water. It’s really painful at first, but as you get used to it, it’s not so bad. In fact, after a while, it might feel colder to step out of the water.
Brrrr—why not stay in and swim a while?!
What I’m trying to say is that the good changes you want and know you need to make may be really painful at this point in your messy marriage. But realize it gets better and easier the more you do them. I’m not convinced that the pain ever completely goes away this side of heaven, but if you persevere, your pain will turn into the warm waters of positive change resulting in a not-so-messy marriage!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
Photo credit by billaday (Flickr)