I didn’t want to give all that advice about prayer and selfishness without telling you of my own personal experience with these things in my own marriage. I also noticed that I didn’t give you a scripture in that last post, and I feel like if I’m going to give spiritual “advice” then it should be backed by God’s word. There are lots of good ideas and things to do, but if this blog is God, Love & Family, I should probably keep God first, right?
So, first things first, here’s our verse for the last post, Remember:
It’s Romans 12:2. The reason I felt this verse was appropriate is because I told you that when you pray you can see your situation through an entirely new perspective. This verse relates that to a new way of thinking, and knowing what Gods wants for you; knowing what is good and pleasing to Him. That’s important because, so often we decide for ourselves what should happen in our relationships and a self-centered attitude can cause us to judge ourselves innocent and place a whole heap-load of blame on our spouse. That kind of thinking only puts you in a bad position.
I’ve been married a long time now. Well, it feels long…it will be 11 years this August. Trust me when I say it doesn’t take 11 years to have experienced situations where I’ve been crazy selfish toward my spouse. I could give PLENTY of examples of that, because I’ve been guilty of it so many times. I think we both have, but I will speak on my own behalf first.
My husband is in the military, and, with his ridiculous work schedule, it is unbearably tempting for me to watch him walk through the door after a long day at work and me walk right out the door so that I can escape what I call, “kid nation”.
My children, at this time, were at the age where they should have been taking regular naps, but they did not. Sure, I would lay them down to nap, but they would just lay there and play and get up repeatedly to tell me they weren’t sleepy. Aside from that, if they did (on an off chance) happen to take a nap, I was left with the decision of whether to stay awake and clean, to blow off cleaning and just watch a TV show, or to take a nap myself. The stress of that decision is more than any mother should have to endure.
Then my husband came home one day and told me he would be off of work early tomorrow. It was a dream come true! He was going to come home, relieve me of my shift at kid nation, and I would be FREE (as free as any one woman could be sitting in the clubhouse of her apartment complex reading a book and watching people enjoy the pool). 3 o’clock came and he walked through the door. I was elated but I withheld my excitement. After all, he was tired too, right? He walked right up to me, gave me a kiss and said, “They want me to coach the game tonight.” I don’t have an illustration for this so I want you to take a moment and picture my emotions. My smile dropped and I turned on my fake smile- the one I use when people give me fake compliments or the one my husband uses when people shake his hand and say “Thank you for your service.” “Okay, that’s fine,” I said, trying my very best not to fall into a temper tantrum similar to the one’s my children have repeatedly throughout the day. He told me the game started at 6 but he had to leave now so they could practice.
I kept a happy face until he walked out of the door, then made a b-line for the bathroom and burst into tears. Just then, as I blubbered my woes into my bathroom sink I heard within myself, “You’re supposed to depend on me for that.” It was God speaking to my heart as he so often does, and thank God this time I heard it clear as day. I heard but I didn’t understand.
Why would God would tell me to depend on him? What did he mean by that? There I am in my bathroom, all alone crying, because I’d lost what was, very likely, my only chance for free time for who knows how long; what did God want me to do? And, who do you think was being selfish in this situation, my husband or me?
…Comment below and I’ll share the rest of my story soon