Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Funky Times of Marriage Part 1

It is on my heart to do a "mini" series on being a married lady... the funny, fun things, the challenging things and the heart-change things...enjoy!!  Also pray for me as I write over the coming weeks...God bless you in your marriage, guy or gal!

I come to you today with much 'fear and trembling' to share with you a topic a-burning in my heart.  A "burden" to share some truths about being a wife is welling up in me and comes on the heels of a men's panel we had at our mom's group last week.
Wes and I seem get in "funk" sometimes...(you know one of those 2 or 3 day stretches where you just argue seemingly non stop?  Anyone?) I just don't have a better word for it.  You both feel funky apart or together, the mood is, well, funky, yuck.

We are real people and we just have times like that.  It's like God allows something to come up in one or both of us and there is a "painful rub" (if you will) between us until we finally get with God, get together and open the lines of humble and loving communication.

A mentor of mine has called this "rub" between us the "sandpaper" of God, ah hum, marriage.  (Happy on the quotations today "apparently")  The stuff that we have to face about ourselves...sin, expectations, disobedience, hardness of heart, past experiences, (need I go on?) when we are forced to live with another human in covenant relationship. 

Oh it's hard, but so awesome- as it is that very course, gritty sandpaper makes us more like Jesus if we allow the Holy Spirit to move us into God's love for each other and Christ's perseverance. (2 Thess. 3:5)

Over this series, I would like to share with you some things God had lovingly showed me in the funkiest of times. 
Anyhow, it was one of those sandpaper times for Wes and I.  Yes people, we have those, this is how I know so much about said "sandpaper".  It seemed like we could not even open our mouths without simple conversation turning into an argument.   For fictional example: "Pass me the ketchup," says Wes and "What do you mean by that?!" says Cat.  You have been there, right?!

Ugh, feels so defeating, doesn't it? 

must admit I usually begin to just pray (and pray even though I know better) that God would change my husband...he's the one who needs it God...and if God you could just show him how asking for the ketchup was so hurtful, then he would repent of his ketchup asking ways and I would forgive him.

Ok, so arguments in real-life are sometimes (not always I humbly confess to you) more major than the ketchup meltdown, but don't we so often apply the "God fix him, he's wrong" attitude of prayer and conflict resolution?!

Of course, dear friends, it may be true that hubby is in the wrong, not hearing you, being selfish...etc.  But to first start by pointing out his mess is simply not biblical.  Let me say again, much fear and trembling. I don't communicate this lightly, fellow wife,  knowing the many, many pains most of us have been through or will walk through in marriage.

Jesus tells us (I like to think He is personally pleading with me and my thick head) to 1st remove the plank in our own eyes before pointing out the speck of dust in another's.  The psalmist models for us earnest heart change prayer when he cries out "show me any offensive way in me!" 

Not him, me.

I am beyond thankful I have a patient God and that He has given me a patient husband, as I seem to have to learn certain lessons over and over again.  Let me also say, I am also thankful for the countless girl friends who model this for me daily, Shout out!  You know who you are sisters.

If we believe the Bible is God's very word to us, we must follow dear friends!  Do not grow weary, do not grow faint as we choose to resolve conflict in a mature, loving and biblical way.  Oh there is a cost.  It will hurt, we may not get it right every time, our flesh certainly won't like it, but on the other side there are mountains of blessing for the faithful! 

When we humble ourselves (only by the power of the Holy Spirit, certainly not in this girl's strength!) to hear our husbands first, this is truly, daily, in the trenches of life-application, what Jesus refers to as the greatest love of all "laying down your life for one another." 

Forgiveness before repentance, listening before speaking, acting in love while feeling injustice...all lower the walls of the precious man by my side, if not at first, eventually, and if not at all, then we choose to trust God that His word is true.  If walls remain, we rejoice knowing we are not carrying around unforgiveness and the burden of demanding our own ways and rights, but that God has enabled us to lift up our hubbies before ourselves.

Come back for more of what is learned in the funks...Bless you!