I'm a wife, a daughter, a sister, a professor, a writer, and a friend. I'm not always prepared for the things life throws at me, but I trust in a God who loves me, who never forsakes me, and who is always faithful to his promises.
Laura and I were talking with some other couples about how
we argue and what our fleshly tendencies are when we do, so I thought I would
share an insight that I’ve discovered about myself that might help someone
When something goes wrong, or I upset her, I tend to want to
fix it immediately. I think that there are certain personality types that just
want to fix problems quickly. Let’s be efficient people!! At least that’s my
natural tendency. When it comes to matters of the heart, though, the fastest
way is not always the most efficient way. Think of it like this. If something
is really important, like your spouse’s feelings, you should take the time to
make it right. All good things take time, especially marriage.
Early on in our marriage, I asked Laura. “What words or
phrases would be most effective to help us solve our differences?” This might
sound like a great question to ask, and it is. She obliged with some things
that really minister to her in times of distress, which was wonderful.
Excellent communication, right? It surely was. We were on the right track…but,
application makes all the difference.
I jumped on those phrases like a bicyclist at the Tour de
France. That is to say, way too fast. I applied the words and phrases that she
gave the first chance I had, and they fell completely flat. All that great
communication down the drain?! Well, almost. What I didn’t realize is that
these great words are moot without hearing Laura out first. She needed a chance
to tell me how she felt, and then we needed time to let those words soak in.
She just needed a little time to process, and I just needed
to back off a bit. Recently, the Lord brought all this back to me when I was
watching our dogs.
Rizzoli, our Weimaraner, is much bigger than our Wheaton
mix, Charlie, and thus has much bigger feet, which stomp around like Godzilla
in Tokyo most of the time. This means that she steps on his tail a lot. When
she does, he gets upset and barks and whines. She obviously feels terrible and
stays about two centimeters from his face until he feels better, whether he
likes it or not—and, in fact, he hates that too. She is really just making a
bad situation worse by doing that, just like I was.
What really changed all this for the good, though, was
finding the root cause. Through some prayer and self-reflection, He revealed to
me that I needed to have our problems solved and find reconciliation so quickly
because I was putting my security in whether Laura was okay with me instead of
putting my security in Him. Simply put, I was putting more pressure on our
marriage than God intended. When my security is in Him, our marriage functions
much better. I’m free to ask Laura how she feels or what issues are happening and
not feel an urgency to pressure her to forgive. She is then free to feel my
sincerity, rather than my insecurity. In turn, we resolve issues much faster
and are healthier in general together. What an amazing God we serve!!