Ok. So, fellow wives, maybe you know the feeling. The feeling when you worked hard vacuuming and mopping the floors, which is apparently an invitation for your clueless husband to parade through the house in his muddy boots. I mean, DUDE…
The thoughts? “Oh my WORD, when will he learn??????” “Why am I the only one who cares at ALL about how the house looks? Why do I even try?!?!?” And then we huff and puff as we angrily whisk up the muddy crumb trail, growing more and more bitter with each sweep of the broom. And what happens next? Our thoughts dart wildly from one husband fail to another…
“He leaves his razor and shaving cream out EVERY MORNING!”
“He does NOT do enough around here and he does NOT appreciate me!”
And before we know it, we find ourselves in a tornado of bitterness and martyrdom. Ugly, right?
Well, upon seeing the mud trail, my default thought pattern was to sprint headlong into that marriage-destroying thought storm. But before my heart could grasp hold of the fury, a calm swept over me. And my heart changed.
And the SAME mud that sparked a fire of fury only moments before suddenly brought a hesitant, yet thankful smile to my face. Because these boots have seen four combat deployments and countless muddy, cold, rainy days training in the field. These boots have attended memorials for dear friends lost in combat and have tenderly held a dying soldier in the last moments of his too-short life. These boots have wrestled on the living room floor with 3 precious kids who sacked their Daddy before he had a chance to change out of his uniform. These boots work incredibly hard to provide for our family and to humbly and selflessly serve our country……and after a long, exhausting day at work, these boots always come back home to the kids and me.
And with a heart of gratitude and love, I quickly swept up the mud and began to reflect on how much I deeply love and appreciate my husband. Because it’s in these moments, in the millions of mundane moments of life that we either build up or tear down our marriages. We alone are responsible for how we think and how we respond, and we alone are responsible for the condition of our hearts. And so we do the hard work of examining our own hearts:
-Even in the mundane, am I building up or tearing down my husband and my marriage?
-What negative feelings and thoughts are stored up in my heart toward my husband?
It’s in the millions of mundane moments of life that we either build up or tear down our marriages.
-What positive, God-honoring thoughts can replace the negative thought patterns?
-What does repentance look like for me as I think about and relate to my husband? What is my plan to transform my thoughts and respond differently to my husband?
And through self-reflection and the cleansing work of the Holy Spirit, we, over time, will see the default negative thought patterns transform into positive thought patterns and we will enjoy the fruit of a much happier, more loving marriage. Because out of the OVERFLOW of the grace we have been given by Christ, we get the joy of extending that grace to our husbands.
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.“ ~Matthew 12:35
Tell us! How do you actively extend grace or good will to those around you?
And there’s a good reason for this. We spend so much time trying to live in the present, putting together the pieces from one PCS to another, dreaming of the day when we’ll finally be settled. But that day doesn’t come for a long time because deployments and new duty assignments overshadow it. And who we were at the beginning of this adventure fades a little more and a little more with each move, each promotion.
And There It Was. That feeling that I should just be GRATEFUL. Grateful that someone offered me a job despite the fact that we move a lot: three states just in the last two and a half years. Grateful because I have a few weird gaps in my resume and “inconsistent” work experience all over the country. I am an experienced journalist and technical writer with a master’s degree, and I felt guilty turning down a “junior to mid-entry-level position”.