Yesterday afternoon I was annoyed with my husband about something. It was insignificant and silly. Basically he had asked me to help him (for less than 5 minutes) with a chore that I wasn't in the mood to do. I helped him in silence, as my selfish flesh and the Spirit's nudging to consider 'WWJD' were waging war within me. Then I remembered something I had read a couple of days ago:
"If something about our spouse bugs us but it’s not sin, we can’t demand that they change. Maybe the problem is our own annoyance." -Gary Thomas
I wish I were so mature that just remembering that quote was enough to make me instantly selfless, but it is not the case.
I kept my mouth shut, but only barely.
I prayed that God would help my sour attitude.
I asked the Lord to help me be more loving and kind.
I thought about how many times I have asked him to tackle chores that he was probably not in the mood to do.
Later in the afternoon those prayers were honored. It was like humility and obedience had given me new lenses. I started noticing the consistent kindness my husband shows me. I became grateful for the quiet way he serves our family. I marveled at the incredible work ethic he is modeling for my children. I thanked God for the way He has developed his self control and discipline. I was overwhelmed with the way he loves me and our children.
I asked God to forgive me...for allowing the Enemy to distract me by things that are really insignificant in an effort to keep me from seeing what is true and meaningful. I couldn't help thinking about how we can sometimes get so caught up in the specks on the window that we miss the incredible view. It is all about what we choose to focus on.
God, please help me keep the right perspective. Give me the prompting to hold negative thoughts captive and get refocused. I have never heard anyone refer to this passage as marriage advice, but think Eugene Peterson's Message translation summarizes this thought perfectly in Philippians 4:8-9.
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.