– Cindy Wright – June 21, 2013
Confession time… yesterday my husband Steve and I missed our prayer time we spend together each morning with the Lord. The reason? We were snarky with each other and didn’t repair things earlier as we should have.
I hurt my back several days ago and the physical pain I’ve been experiencing and the emotional pain of some family situations have taken their toll. So yesterday morning I barked at my husband Steve over a minor irritation. I shouldn’t have. I know it was wrong and I knew the way in which I “delivered” my message to Steve wasn’t right, but I did it anyway. He, in return, he was snarky back.
As a result, he stormed out the door to go to work without us having a prayer time together (as we do every morning and have for most of our marriage). I didn’t stop him. I should have, but I didn’t.
What’s really weird about all of this is that I wasn’t really mad at him… I just reacted in a wrong way —taking my pain out on him, in a snarky, barmy way —something I shouldn’t have done. Grrr… I hate it when I get that way.
Something that Whitney Hopler made in a Crosswalk.com article titled, “How to Fight Your Way to a Better Marriage” comes to mind:
“When you simply react during a conflict, only negative behavior (such as anger, defensiveness, or withdrawing) results. But when you refuse to give in to a knee-jerk reaction and instead take a break from the argument to calm down and pray for the Holy Spirit’s help, you can respond in positive ways (such as with self-control, kindness, and gentleness) that will strengthen your marriage and help you work out a thoughtful solution to the problem.”
We KNOW these principles… we teach them… and most of the time we live them (thank you Lord, for teaching us this principle many years ago). Putting myself in a “time out” has helped many times when Steve does something that I don’t like and I feel myself getting heated in a way that isn’t productive. Just looking at Steve and saying, “I need to walk away from this right now and revisit it later after I cool down and pray about it” has helped our marriage relationship in SO MANY ways. (The same goes when he does it.)
But I didn’t do that this time. It just goes to show that sometimes even those who know better, get tripped up sometimes too.
So eventually, we humbled ourselves and when we saw each other later in the day, we walked up to each other hugged for a long time, kissed and each confirmed, “Lets not do that again… this wasn’t good.” And that’s our hope. That’s our goal NOT to do that again. Hopefully, prayerfully, we won’t (and you won’t either). In marriage we’re supposed to partner together —fighting against whatever hurtful thing comes into our lives, not fighting against each other.
What’s worse is that we missed our prayer time together earlier in the day, which was NOT a good thing. I know that God uses that time to not only join us together in our relationship with Him —to participate with Him in a miracle-making way, but also to cement our marriage together in a healthy way, healing way. I also know that not only do WE miss out, when we miss that time together with the Lord, but God misses us as He waits for us to join Him.
May we always remember that. And may the petty, stupid time that we spent yesterday not be wasted… a lesson learned… missed prayer time… but may we learn. What’s important is not just what we live through but what we learn through.
“Live life, then, with a due sense of responsibility, not as men who do not know the meaning and purpose of life but as those who do. Make the best use of your time, despite all the difficulties of these days. Don’t be vague but firmly grasp what you know to be the will of God. Don’t get your stimulus from wine (for there is always the danger of excessive drinking), but let the Spirit stimulate your souls. Express your joy in singing among yourselves psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making music in your hearts for the ears of God! Thank God at all times for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And ‘fit in with’ each other, because of your common reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:15-21 Phillips)