Last week was a tad bit stressful for my husband & me….just a tad. There were some things that we anxiously hoped would have been worked out earlier in the week, and as of hadn’t been.
However, on my way home from work, Oliver called me to say that he’d come up with a solution. Great! Unfortunately, due to the lateness of the hour, that solution ended up not working out. No biggie…we’ll continue waiting. Cool.
So what’s the problem…? The problem was my initial reaction. I indignantly said something like “…why didn’t you do that sooner?? Then it wouldn’t have been too late…”
WRONG Answer! Why did I have to criticize his efforts?? As if I had a better solution…smh.
The crazy thing is, I knew that my response was unacceptable even as the words were coming out of my mouth, smh. Whatever happened to “oh, it’s ok baby…we’ll work it out another way. I appreciate you working so hard on this…”? I was sorely convicted! So when I got home, I went to Oli and apologized for my rudeness & disrespect. He graciously accepted my apology. Then I asked him if what I said made him feel bad. His reply…? “Just a twinge”
Just a twinge. You’ll never know how those three words made my heart sink to my toes & put a lump… no, a ROCK – in my throat. I imagined him cringing inside all because of what I said…stinging him with my critical words. I was undone! How could I, his loving, supportive wife -who’s supposed to always have his back & be in his corner – hurt him the most?? I know this man better than anyone else in this entire world. Only God knows him better than I do. I know that he loves his family with a fierceness and that everything he does, every decision that he makes, is for his family and for the advancement of his family as servants in God’s kingdom. He always puts his family’s needs – and even desires – before his own. Always. He always wants what’s best for us, and works extremely hard to that end. So why would I allow satan to use me to criticize the man that loves and looks out for us the most?? I’m not supposed to be the one evoking those kinds of ‘twinges’ in my husband! The only kind of twinge I want to evoke in him is the twinge he feels because I’m making him proud as a wife and mother…because he sees me being the Godly woman that God has called me to be…because I’m whispering sweet nothings in his ear. THOSE are the kinds of twinges that I want him to feel.
He said that it didn’t bother him more than just a twinge, but even a twinge is too much. A paper cut seems so much more irritating & painful than a full blown open wound. And drafty window seems to pull in much more cold air than a window that is open wide.
That night, I prayed more. Couldn’t get that thing off my mind! I had to ask God for ‘wife wisdom’. His reply, “Denise, if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all. If you MUST say something, say something to ME in the form of a prayer. But before you pray for your husband, pray for yourself!” Wow.
Like many other scenarios in our marriage, my remorse over this present situation got me to thinking…how many times have I said thoughtless things without considering God’s love for me…without considering His will for my life…? How many times has God lovingly warned me “Don’t say anything right now…DEFINITELY don’t say THAT….don’t do it…don’t go…don’t wait…don’t listen to them…don’t listen to satan…don’t do anything yet…don’t worry…don’t, don’t, don’t…”? Only for me to fly off the handle & regret it later. Do I evoke that same kind of twinge in God?? Knowing He only wants what’s best for me, yet I choose to be selfish & disobedient…? Sadness.
I’m challenged to consider my words and be sure that they build my husband UP, not tear him DOWN. I’m challenged to consistently be his biggest cheerleader. I’m COMMANDED to RESPECT him.
Dear wives, I invite you to share in this challenge with me. The blessings are bountiful!
Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction. The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
Proverbs 18:20-21 (NLT)
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Ephesians 4:29 (NLT)