Monday, April 24, 2017

Fighting the Wasps in your Marriage

Spring is in the air, and we’ve already had several days in the 90s. Around our house, that usually means we start to see signs of wasps. We’ve killed a few here and there, but the other day—of course, right at 6:00 as our guests were arriving for dinner—we noticed several flying around the front door.

Howell went out to spray what we expected was a nest, but we soon discovered that there were dozens and dozens of wasps crawling on our roof, likely making homes in our wood shingles, where they can’t be seen or reached.

This did not bring comfort to my soul.

We ate dinner and enjoyed a lovely evening with our friends, but the wasps stayed in the back of my mind, as I imagined hundreds of them crawling around on our roof.

Several days after that—maybe more than a week even, I felt like the Lord reminded me of the wasps to speak truth to my heart about something else entirely. (I don’t know about y’all, but he uses my daily experiences to do that a lot—remember the skunk?)

The Lord showed me that the stray wasp or two is like the surface problems in a marriage—maybe a small fight, an unsettled disagreement, a busy week with little quality time.

A single wasp doesn’t seem so bad, and you take care of it when you can. It's just a nuisance, right?

But if we’re not careful, before we know it, we’re hiding all kinds of wasps’ nests in our attic or nestled in some other forgotten, neglected place.

The same is true in our marriages. If we don’t handle well the little wasps, the small battles, we’ll end up with a whole army rising up against us and against our marriage.

For Howell and I, we know that the little wasps come when we don’t get to really connect, when life gets too busy, and we’ve said too many yeses.

We’ve both been reading Present over Perfect—and we’re thinking intentionally about our yeses these days. (If I haven’t sold you on this book yet, please re-read here and here.)

You know what I’ve realized takes up so much of my time?

It’s the little yeses that don’t seem so big at the time. It’s the two hours here after work, and three days a month doing this or that, and one hour here, and on and on.

But when I say yes to all the littles, I look up, and our calendar has something every night of the week.

We’ve decided recently that this is simply unacceptable for us. We want to do better—and it starts with saying no more often.

Shauna puts it so well when she says that when we say yes to something, we’re saying no to something else.

And usually, since I’ve been tuned into my yeses, what I’m saying no to is quality time with my husband, which I crave.

When I put it in that light, it makes me want to shout NO without reservation.

Friends, I encourage you to fight the little wasps in your marriage, even if they just seem like small nuisances. If you let them go, they’ll become much larger under the surface.

We say it all the time that marriage is the best work you’ll ever do. Don’t settle for ordinary when you can fight for extraordinary.

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