“What are you angry at now?”
“What’s wrong with you?”
“It’s no big deal!”
“You’re crazy! I wasn’t flirting with that woman!”
“Why did you even marry me?”
“Back off!”
“I don’t care what you say!”
“Guess it’s that time of the month again!”
“Ted’s wife doesn’t get all bent out of shape when he’s late for dinner!”
“What do you mean I never spend any time with you?”
“Just forget about it.”
“I said I was sorry, didn’t I?”
“You’re crazy!”
“You’re wrong about that!”
“I don’t want to talk about it!”
“That’s just the way I am – deal with it!”
“Can’t you keep this house clean?”
“You’re not being a submissive wife right now.”
“I’ll spend whatever I want!”

When I read back over this list of angry and sarcastic remarks that husbands – even Christian husbands – direct towards their wives, I see some things that Michael used to say to me in our bad days and I still feel a little twinge over some of them too.

Anger scares me; my own, someone else’s, it doesn’t matter. I think because it can get out of control really fast. To have someone who’s supposed to love me be angry with me – I’m not talking about righteous anger here – is scary and heartbreaking. When Michael and I were in our bad days and there was all this anger flying around, I always felt hopeless and off balance especially when I thought I was doing everything he wanted me to do (always telling him where I was, more sex, initiating relationship, working more, etc.) and it never seemed to matter.

Husbands, love you wives as Christ loved the church and gave His life for her.

There was no giving of life back then…only taking. I would keep wondering how someone who publicly claimed to love God so much could be so different behind closed doors. This is not uncommon. In fact, in the marriage ministry we’re involved with, we often hear the same story.

Why is this? Where did everything go so terribly wrong? The list of possibilities could get quite long but I think that for us, Satan’s lie to Michael was that he wasn’t worthy of love and Satan’s lie to me was that I didn’t matter and so I should just take whatever kind of love I could get, even if it was dishonoring.

What I know for sure is this: as soon as Michael started to become the man I needed him to be by becoming the man that God called him to be, things started to really change and – as crazy as this sounds - it was kind of scary because I’d been doing my life so differently for the previous 38 years! It was an adjustment! Can you believe that? A marriage based on what God really wanted for us felt weird at first and took getting used to? How tweaked is that?

When a husband chooses his wife’s needs over his own, when he validates her, compliments her, helps her, holds her, listens to her, blesses her, trusts her; when he loves her as Christ loved the church ~ the way he’s called to in God’s word ~ there’s no room for anger.

It just….disappears….

1 comment:

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