I am an Aggie, the proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2005. Ags are storytellers. As a matter of fact, our football “Yell Practices”, which occur the night before any football game at midnight, revolve around “stories” the yell leaders will tell about the upcoming game. So, in true Texas A&M fashion:
I got a little story for you:
Several years ago I’m walking through my house. I’m not just walking but I’m doing what I call “The Bitter Wife Walk”. This bitter wife walk consists of me storming through the house, clanging dishes, scooting toys to the wall….with my foot….from across the room….Yanking up random articles of laundry off the floor….
All the while I’m muttering not so sweet nothings under my breath. Things like,
“If he really loved me he would know to do….”
“I cannot believe he….”
“Can he not see that ……needs to be done!!!!”
“I’m just a servant to him…”
“He never knows what I need!”
“He never stands up for me!”
Who am I kidding, I was throwing a fit!
I was absolutely content with the fact I could beat my husband down, to pieces on the floor, right next to the laundry, with my words. It made me feel better. In my mind he was not measuring up to the ruler I provided him to measure against. I was hot, beyond angry. Things were not going well.
Then, in my bitterness, selfishness and self-righteousness (did you catch all the “self” words there?) God spoke to me.
Has God ever met you where you stand, swinging a bag full of a ton full of bricks, and gets you right between the eyes? There I was, BAM! He nailed me.
He said, “Little Girl, you really do not respect your husband.”
Little Girl is God’s endearing name for me. Crazy, I know, but I hear it. I think it just reiterates his desire to not only a Father but my precious Daddy.
My reply: “God, my husband does not deserve my respect.” Then I listed off a host of perceived injustices of which I felt I had been served.
God: “Trista, do you love me?”
Me: “Yes, God, of course!”
God: “If you love me keep my commandments.”
Me: “What do you mean, God?”
The conversation ensued. What God was attempting to get through my thick skull was that even though I felt Caleb did not meet the requirements where respect was deserved, God had called me to respect my husband in his Holy Word (Ephesians 5:33, just read the whole section, it’s good stuff) regardless of how I felt! God told me because I love him (God) I need to keep his commandment to respect my husband, even though I felt Caleb was not holding up his end of the bargain. He loved this man enough to send his very son to die for, why could I not give this man my respect?
He also revealed to me that I had used a measuring stick on Caleb he was never meant to live up to. You see, I was requiring Caleb to fill a God shaped void in my very soul. I was asking Caleb to be the source of my joy and my happiness. Of course he was going to fall short of my requests! He was just a man!
My tongue had the ability, and consistently acted on said ability, to emasculate my husband. I tore him down in front of friends, family, and co-workers, when he was there and when he wasn’t. I constantly pointed out where he was falling short, rolled my eyes, and kept a bitter chip on my shoulder. My words caused much damage, even if Caleb never heard them. My selfishness would not allow me to see the good things Caleb was doing. My self-righteousness mottled the path on which God wanted me to take my husband by the hand and follow him down.
So I hit my knees. I repented. I did my best to stop tearing down my precious Caleb. I began to live up to the vows I took when I married that man. I learned what it meant to cherish him. I tried to get behind his eyes and see how I could express my respect and love for him. I fulfilled him physically and intimately, even when I might not have felt like it. I continually and earnestly prayed for our hearts to be one, for him to boldly step up into the leadership position in our home, one which I feared he would not because I had taken that position away from him so many times.
I prayed. I interceded. I boldly approached the Throne of Grace on behalf of my husband! You know what happened? God changed my perception of my husband! I prayed for God to change my husband and what he really did was change me! He made me see the amazing qualities of my precious husband. Yes, he did eventually change Caleb and guide him to step up, but not until I started doing my part! If you know Caleb you know he is an amazing spiritual leader for our home, a great provider, and an amazing confidant. He loves me and our boys with a bold love he is not afraid to show. He is God’s provision for me. He is a precious gift my savior entrusted to me to live this life with and to, Lord willing, grow old with. I am a blessed woman, and was the whole time. I just needed to understand how to receive that!
Sweet sister, it doesn’t matter where your husband does not measure up. Be the wife you were called to be, even though it is so SO hard! Ask God to help you forgive and let go of the bitterness in your heart. Hit your knees for your man, then step back and watch God do an amazing work in you both!
With all my love,