Wednesday, September 19, 2012

a challenge to consider

I've been thinking lately about taking a different approach with my groom.

There are times when I do or say something that ignites feelings in him that are valid. I understand the frustration he may experience. And then the tone he uses or the way his face contorts into disapproving or disappointed expressions sends me over the edge into a defenders stance.

Competitive and pride filled, I fight to protect my perspective and my belief of being right...
     or even a smidge *right.*

When I am so quick to defend myself and my pride, we often get off course of what our conversation was initially about. And before we know it, it's become a battle of wills and an all out brawl in anger.

And it's always about pride.

The other day I found myself talking with our son about not always having to be right. I suggested that he could say something like, "I could be wrong," or that he could declare in his heart that he doesn't have to be right all the time. It's a mature perspective and one that even I don't practice well. (Kind of like telling him he should floss his teeth and yet I fail to do it more than once or twice a week.)

But it's true, I don't always have to be right. And, I'm usually not, anyway.

And even if I was wounded by something someone said, or even a nonverbal facial expression, it's not my duty to defend myself right then and there.

So often when I have been challenged through an experience and begin to see a perspective differently, I expect the same of my groom. If I see a better way of reaching for grace, I get angry when he doesn't choose it. I expect for us to be aligned.

But, the truth is, we aren't always aligned. And more often, we aren't at all.

What if I choose {more} grace more of the time? 

Grace that says, I understand. Because, I've been there.

     I've given a look that was hurtful.
     I've expected too much.
     I've been unfair.
     I've felt annoyed and shown it.
     I've insinuated others are less than smart.
     I've been frustrated and made sure others have known.
     I've been conditional with my love showing.

God allowed this man to be the father of our son. He will enable him to love on and guide our son. And if my groom says something that provokes The Boy, then God's got it. I just have to trust that God will use every circumstance, situation, and encounter (even with us) to draw our son to His heart.

God also allowed this man to be my forever-this-side-of-Heaven-groom. To be my partner. Not perfectly. Just daily.

What if I hush up when we're in an argument and let my groom's emotions be all sprawled out there...
     even if the way he expresses his emotions hurts me? 

What if I choose a quieter moment when the air is less thick with rife and tell him then that my heart hurt?

What if I waited? Because, maybe I won't ever need to tell him of my wounds. Maybe God will show him. Or maybe it won't matter because in the process of surrendering my pride and choosing grace, maybe He will heal in the process.

What if I were a safe place for my husband's emotions? After all, don't I expect that of him? Don't I lash out and whine and sigh and complain? Don't I feel so comfortable with him that I neglect to use a filter most of the time? Aren't I expecting him to bear *All* of me?

What if I rolled out the red carpet and chose to approach each day of our togetherness with elegant grace?

Pride is ugly. It wears masks and creeps up on love. It's sneaky and obnoxious. And it neglects grace.

I want to live differently. 

I want to live the grace that fills me and pours over.

I want to honor Him.

I want to be less self-focused and more grace focused.

I want to choose a radically different perspective lived out than my story has read up to now.

It's hard to choose this. But maybe it will let Peace reign a little more.


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  1. Loved your post Amy, although I personally believe that the same attitude, positive and gracefull attitude, should be followed by your groom. In the long run, if only one side works to keep the relationship up and nourishing, it's likely that you will build a wall between you, plus you could get so frustrated by having to always swallow the stone (don't know if it makes sense) yourself without receiving a "I could be wrong" at least once from your spouse.
    You are right when you say that you could find a more appropriate moment to let him know that you were hurt, but please make sure he does understand that and is aware that you are not made of stone.
    And this is also to the benefit of your child: it's not good to watch mommy being "the loser" (although we know it's not the real loser who loses this game) at all time, it would teach him respect and love towards his future partner.
    Thank you so very much for your post, I always look forward to your new blog posts as they enrich me greatly!!

    1. I thought *someone* might say that. :)

      You're right. It's frequently that I open my mouth to let my feelings be heard. And I often get admittance from the other side. Our son is gentle, loving and forgiving--hugely because of the gentleman of a father that he has and the way his father respects, honors and loves his wife. It's my groom's love for me and the way he respects me in front of our son--and requests The Boy's respect of me--that brings me to my knees daily.

      This post came out of a personal conviction to press pause on my response and my right to be heard. I don't always have to say "" Because my groom is so wonderful, when he wrongs me I too often expect perfection from him and struggle with keeping him on a pedestal. I know you *get* that. Just as I appreciate your reminder.

  2. grace-focused. yes, i'm working on that, too. both in parenting, in marriage. . . in LIFE! keeping my eyes on Him and trusting He is faithful to do the work in my heart.
    appreciate your words today.

  3. "what if i choose a quieter moment"--this question resonates. i see myself in your words. marriage, communication, conflict, grace...none of this is easy, is it? thanks for this encouragement to press on in peace.