While marriage has lots of "wildflower meadow" moments, it also has its "spewing geyser" moments. The day we visited Old Faithful, the geysers weren't the only thing that needed to let off some steam. I needed a sign that said, "Keep your distance. She can blow at any moment!" I wish I could say I responded with total grace, but I'll remember it as a "low moment." Two trying to live as "one" in a fallen world has potential hazards, and letting ourselves get to "geyser status" is dangerous for those nearest to us.
In the first verses of Psalm 56 David (who had multiple wives ... imagine THAT pressure!) expresses what I think is on the mind of many of us trying to live married life in the 21st century. My modern translation of his cry: "GIVE ME A BREAK!"
Picture the pressure that builds from the oppression of man:
1 Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me; 2my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly ... 5All day long they injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil. 6They stir up strife, they lurk; they watch my steps, as they have waited for my life. 7For their crime will they escape?
You may feel this way about relationships closest to you. You might feel this way about your neighbors or your co-workers. Your husband might feel this way about the people he contends with, for life in our world today is so much about contending and conflict. God forbid our husbands ever feel like they come home and contend with their partner, their wife. God forbid that we should be the reason our spouse throws up their hands and says, "Give me a break!"
There are moments, even days, when we may feel oppressed in life and even in marriage. We may feel afraid of what man can do to us or of what life can do to us. Oppressors may include: people, finances, circumstances, or physical issues, to name a few. Oppression may be real, or it may be a misguided perspective of our own thoughts, making us feel oppressed. But the Psalmist who knew what it is to battle fear and to be chased down like a dog and relentlessly pursued in his own kingdom encourages us with truth to diffuse life's pressure:
- God is intimately aware of our feelings. There IS someone who understands. vv. 8-9
- God is for us, even when we feel like no one else is. vv. 8-9
8You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? 9Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.
Our response, even if we're "about to blow," is to be faithful to God and worship Him for His care (v.12). We would avoid so much injury to those near us and in our marriages, if we would funnel the emotions and burdens and pressures we build up and heave it on God ... the One we can always TRUST.
Are you experiencing pressure beneath the surface that needs a place to vent? Call out to the Lord with these words from Psalm 56:
3When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 4In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?
Trusting is so much less dangerous than erupting.
Is your husband under a lot of pressure? You can't call out to the Lord for him, but you can be a safe place of comfort, encouragement, care, and tenderness. Allow him the freedom to share what's oppressing him, and be a cooling salve to his life.
Are you about to blow? Go to the Lord with your pressure. There are loved ones nearby, and we don't want anyone to get hurt. Trusting is so much less dangerous than erupting.