I was having a grouchy moment ... or two that week. I was not wearing my "filled with the Spirit" t-shirt, mostly because I was not being faithful in my quiet time. Not enough time in God's Word = dangerous me.
In the process of my grouchy moments, my unsuspecting husband really hurt my feelings. It didn't help the state of my heart, and so after we were in bed (WARNING: too late to bring up an issue!) I tried to tell him how I was feeling, how I was hurt, and what was in my head and heart. I didn't do a great job of explaining the first time, and, though he tried to understand, we finally fell asleep ... frustrated husband and hurt wife.
Honestly, I didn't really sleep much that night, and it made it worse that he seemed to sleep soundly! ;) On the other hand, I spent the night dreaming about scenarios like Jeff leaving me on a deserted island or getting left behind on vacation. Have you ever had those dreams?
The next morning, we went through our routines, and he was helpful getting kids to schooling, etc, but we made little eye contact and didn't address the hurt... the "family of elephants" in the room. While God's mercies are new every morning, it seems like ours can just wake up as human as we ended the day before.
Later in the morning, Jeff popped in to take care of some things at home. When I heard the garage door going up, I thought he would surely be coming in to sit down, hold my hand, and ask me to pour my heart out to him. Silly me. I would be wrong. He came in, found the vacuum cleaner, and began to vacuum ... and vacuum ... and vacuum. Not a dust bunny was left clinging when he was done. And all the while he was vacuuming, I was trying to keep from "pulling his plug." I had to ask the Lord to help me appreciate his act of kindness that was meant to try and show me love and fix the hurt. I admit that I had visions of dropping the vacuum cleaner off of the deck ... I knew I would be sorry. :)
I asked the Lord to help me use words to tell Jeff (after the vacuuming) that I appreciate his practical help A LOT, but I really needed him to hear and understand me. I knew I needed God's help to communicate better than before.
When the cord was finally wrapped up, Jeff walked across our pristine, dustless floor, and God helped us to communicate to each other about how the hurt began. We had to apologize and ask forgiveness and lay our hurts aside. Hurt feelings can snowball into a horrible issue between us, and it takes God's help to try to understand our mate and speak their language. I think that's why God calls men to "live with your wives in an understanding way," 1 Pt. 3:7 and challenges wives to have "respectful behavior" towards our husbands, with a "gentle and quiet (meaning compliant, agreeable, yielding) spirit". Read the challenge to wives here.
Marriage is nothing short of a miracle as two become one, and feelings are bound to be hurt on both sides. How do you handle it? I know you're hoping your husband will be motivated to vacuum, ;) but God is hoping that the next time our feelings are involved, we will turn to Him for the grace and understanding we need to be more "one" than before. Maybe you need to reach out to your husband today to heal his hurt feelings or spend some time in prayer to ask God to help heal your own, or ask for divine ability to communicate well. Don't let the hurt feelings stay between you. Put away your vacuum cleaner ;) and before it gets too late at night, reach out to the other 1/2 of your "one."
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