I confess that when I first got married, I was a real brat. Most of the time I was sweet, but buddy, when riled, I came out with both fists flying. I cringe as I think back at the things I said to my husband. If I heard a young bride talking to her husband like that today, I’d have to pull her aside and have a little chat with her.
The worst part about it was my double standard. If my husband said something that I felt was out of line, I was in his face telling him how he needed to respect me. If he came home from a long shift of being on call and was a bit moody, I thought, “How dare he be moody to me?” If he casually mentioned something that I didn’t get done around the house, I’d think, “He’s so critical!” If he were to mention someway that I could improve myself, I’d accuse him of not loving me for who I was.
And yet, he was subjected to my moodiness. I called it PMS and that made it okay. I nagged when I wanted him to do things around the house and I complained when I felt he was too busy for me. I wanted him to be all love and respect towards me, but at the same time I wasn’t considering his feelings and I wasn’t treating him the way that I wanted to be treated.
The change in me came gradually. It came through reading the Bible and prayer. It came through talking to friends about my attitudes. It came through simply realizing what a fabulous man I married. It came through choosing to respect and honor him. And, sometimes it came through the forthrightness of older saints.
One time we had a guest minister traveling through our church. We didn’t have any Senior saints in our church at the time and I spotted his white-haired wife sitting in the back of the church. I thought to myself, “Now there is a wise woman who can teach me something profound.” I went to her and I asked her to pray for me. I told her about how I was continually disrespectful and I didn’t know how to stop. That sweet saint did pray for me. She said, “Father, give Chrissy a soft edge to her bitchiness.” I’m sure my eyes and my jaw popped open all at the same time. Afterwards I went and sat in my seat, shocked at brutal bluntness of this woman of God. You know, I’ve never forgotten that prayer. In those moments when I find myself being, well… what she said, I cry out again for that soft edge.
I am fairly certain that I am not the only woman who has battled this ‘ailment’. Maybe you have battled it too. I think it’s very important for us to remember the golden rule in our homes. Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31 (NIV) I suppose the guy that sleeps next to you qualifies as your neighbor. Do you want to be a minister of love and comfort to your husband? Start with a little