by: Kerri Young
“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33
I’m going to be really honest with you because I had an incredibly crushing and humbling experience the other day and I like to believe the Lord wants to use our mess-ups and life experiences to help others not do the same silly things we do.
Even though it is no excuse, my life is incredibly insane right now. Between my husband’s full-time job recruiting, my should be part-time but feels at least like ¾ time job coaching, the full-time job of partner raising for our upcoming adventure across the world, preparing to take on another full-time job of homeschooling, and the more than full-time job of parenting three young children, my husband and I are stretched thin some days. Okay, many days.
Lately our conversations revolve around romantic things like who’s writing what thank you and would you please pick up a package for me from my office? Most days we take it all in stride, but every now and then I get impatient and I start to get flustered that my husband doesn’t necessarily operate on the same time table as me. Things get done; however, they don’t always get done when I want them to get done.
If there is one thing the Lord keeps trying to teach me over and over again it’s that I need to let go of wanting things accomplished on my schedule. But, I guess I haven’t learned it yet; and I’ve been getting frustrated. Last week the Lord used my daughter to show me that not only have I been impatient, but I’ve also been terribly disrespectful to my husband in the process.
One night when the kids were watching the Olympics with my husband I was in the other room when I heard my girl tell her daddy that he needed to put his cell phone down and stop playing solitaire. I wish I could say she asked him in a sweet, loving tone, but it was nothing but sass and exasperation. Then she followed up her command by coming into the bedroom and tattling on her daddy for “playing on his phone.” I lovingly corrected my daughter and explained to her that she didn’t need to be telling daddy what to do, but didn’t think much else about it until….
The next evening we were preparing to go somewhere fun. As we were getting ready to go my daughter asked my husband to do something for her. When he didn’t respond immediately she took that as her signal to let him know he wasn’t doing what he was supposed to be doing. As I watched her innocent disapproval and disrespect for her daddy yet again my heart broke because I knew she was only emulating behavior she had seen from me. Mirror, mirror. Ouch!
It’s so easy for our frustrations to sneak into our verbal and non-verbal communication and turn our interaction into nagging or even belittling. Even though the disrespect might be subtle or even unintentional, it’s still there and my girl proved to me last week that she is picking up on it all and thinks if Mommy does it, it must be okay. So, coming to you from a heart that desires to love and respect my husband and teach my children to do the same, will you please pray for me to make a concerted effort this week to speak words of truth and encouragement to my husband so that our kids will know how important it is to honor one another with our actions and our words? If you would like me to pray for you to do the same, please let me know in the comments below and join me in this prayer:
“Father God, thank you for the gift of my husband. Please help me to love him well, not only with my actions but with my words. Help me to honor and encourage, instead of disrespect or tear down. When I get frustrated, please help me to speak the truth in love and in constructive ways rather than nag or belittle. Help me teach my children how to honor and love their father as well. Thank You for Your grace, Your mercy, and the help you provide. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”