Friday, April 11, 2008

Gently Chatting... and other stuff

How has your week of gentleness gone? Any testimonies you want to share in the comment section? Tomorrow, I'll try to get a moment to highlight a great and powerful comment Koryn from Mother's Precious Gems (I think that's the right link) left in one of my posts this past week about being gentle to your kids.

Okay -- so last night, my husband and I lay in bed... he was surfing the internet, checking out all his cool little fishing spots (he calls them forums... I call them glorified blogs). I was just chilling out, enjoying the quietness (except for Hunter crying out "MommyDaddyMommy!" from his room every 2 minutes). The TV was off, and it was relatively quiet.... and once Hunter actually fell asleep, my husband turned off the computer, and all the lights. We just lay there chit-chatting for a good long time about various things going on. Then we said good night, and I rolled over to go to sleep. He reached out and touched my shoulder and told me he enjoyed the time we had to just chat.

Wow. At first, I though he was being sarcastic, and I got all defensive (that happens a lot with me!) but he reassured me that he was being sincere in his comment. It left me thinking... we all need to make time to chat with our spouses.

Just chat.

That's all.

Just the two of you.

No competition from kids, TVs, phones, computers, or anything else.

It's so simple, that it's silly, isn't it?

Seriously -- when I mentioned on my post yesterday that we (me and my husband) get so consumed in the day's BUSY-ness, I really meant it. We miss out on sweet moments of down time with each other, as in -- just the two of us -- and we forget what "chatting" is all about! It was so nice. No TV, no computer, no lights. Just gently chatting with each other.

On another note, I have a real problem with my tongue and my attitude. Oh, and my patience level -- can't forget that one. If I'm not careful, it can really affect my gentleness with my husband, or with Hunter. I know. You're shocked. Me too. But I wanted to get real with you, because blogs can sometimes leave the impression that the author is perfect, and their home is all rosy and cheery, and ... well ... perfect. But trust me when I say, Casa Sunshine is far from perfection, and so am I!!

Anyway -- the problem is, when I'm feeling excessively tired, emotional, stressed, or out of sorts (which shockingly seems to be almost every single day lately), I tend to respond to my husband in snippy, snide, impatient, and at times, explosive ways. I HATE it when he or anyone else does that to me, so what should make me think he particularly enjoys it when I respond to him like that? See?? Like I've said before, I am FAR from an expert when it comes to marriages -- that's just further proof. Proof that I have a lot to work on.

Yes, I feel as though my husband and I have a great relationship, with a lot of love and mutual respect. And, yes, we bicker and argue (because one of us [ehem -- that would be me] has a terrible need to be right all the time), but in the end, we love each other dearly. We do treat each other tenderly and gently, but there is always room for work in any marriage, and it seems to me that right when I'm feeling "comfortable," and like everything is just falling into place and clicking together like clock work in our relationship, BLAM. The enemy slams us with something that causes disharmony in our relationship. And sadly, it's usually when I'm feeling excessively tired, emotional, stressed, or out of sorts. I need to overcome my weakness in reacting with my emotions, and begin reacting with my mind and the spiritual strengths I know I have.

Speaking of spiritual strengths... one of my own personal goals that I carry in my heart (which NOW, the cat is out of the bag, and my husband will know), is that I want to always encourage my husband and help him to be spiritually set on fire... which, as anyone who has been married in like -- forever -- will agree that after a while, the spark can fizzle out! But I can reignite it! And so can you. How? By maintaining my own spiritual fire... and maintaining and growing my own relationship with the Lord. Then... I can work on my husband's spiritual fire by praying for him and simply encouraging him.

I can NOT change or strengthen my husband's spiritual fire with my own strength, resources or powers... just like YOU can't change your husband, either. But God can, and if I place him in God's hands daily, God will change him. Then, he'll begin to see my own enthusiasm and feed off of it. I've done it and I've seen it happen!! Nagging wont change his spiritual growth (trust me on that one girls ... been there, done that). "Discreet suggestions" wont change his spiritual growth. Forcing his hand wont change his spiritual growth. Prayer will. And just so that the men that are reading this know... it works both ways. You can do the same in your relationship with your wife!

Yeah -- off my soap box now. Chances are, after all my posts this week, the enemy will attack our little family this weekend and I'll be eating all of my words... again.

On a side note... can I get your-all's (technical word) opinion on something?

It really bothers me when I see a disrespectful, demeaning, wife (who is a Christian and in a Christian relationship) mow all over her husband, whether in public or in their home, and/or tear their husband down. It also bothers me when they remove the "spiritual head of the household" title from their husband by micro-managing everything in their homes and not allowing their husband to be in charge of anything (whether he does it well or not). It also bothers me when the same Christian wives will say that it's just the way they are, like it or leave it...
It almost leaves me feeling like they are "cutting God's feet off" -- yeah, I know that sounds weird, but if as a Christian, we're called to pattern our lives after Christ... to change our attitudes and behaviors that are not Christ-like by allowing the Holy Spirit to clean our house -- but instead say "that's just the way I am, like it or leave it" -- it feels like we're saying, "God, that's just the way I am, and I don't want you to have control of my life" or possibly, "God, that's just the way I am, and you or anyone else can't do anything about it"-- in essence, cutting God's feet off -- rejecting the gifts the Holy Spirit has waiting for us -- rejecting the beautiful person God can form us to be!

I know it took me a good 7-8 years of marriage before I took that same attitude and threw it out the spiritual window and let God in to clean house. And even now, after 18 years of marriage (in June), I'm still finding that I have to let God in to clean house! Yes, it may be for different attitudes or yuckiness than when we first got married, but I find it's a constant, and evolving process that has to be turned over completely to God. And it's not just in a marriage either. It's in our daily lives and attitudes that I find we need constant spiritual re-adjusting and fine tuning

Does that make any sense? What are your thoughts on that?


Becoming Me said...

Gibee - Great thoughts. THere is so much work in marriage...prayer, patience, understanding, etc. But the work is so worth it. I too wish I would have learned lessons earlier but am thankful that God is still working on me and our marriage so it will be a testimony to Him...not our doing but HIS glory.

Susanne~Living To Tell said...

Boy when you grab a topic bull by the horns you really go for it! Ouch, ouch and ouch again. But you are so right. And yes I've used the excuse that is just the way I am but God has gently reminded me that He loves me just the way I am but that He loves me too much to leave me that way.

LvlyRita said...

Enjoyed this post. There is one part of me that says, "that's the way I am..." but it doesn't mean that I can get away with not being a nice person, or allowing God to work on the parts that need polishing (or scrubbing off!).

The spiritual head of the house should be the husband. That is important, but if he does not step up to the plate, then it is very easy for a wife to walk all over her husband. My hubby learned early on that he has to reign me in (not easy for my pride) and I learned that in order to make him strong I need to pray for him and encourage him vocally and in my conversations with my friends.

Even when discussing our husbands with our friends, I try to keep it as funny stories, not complaints or whining gossip. Hmm, is it possible to gossip about our husbands?

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

Oh GiBee, I'm late reading this post, but as usually happens when I check out your blog, it was JUST what I needed!

I may just print it out and read it over and over.