We always drive through the winding roads around the City with ease and comfort. But on this particular day, the situation was quite peculiar.
This day, the winding roads brought forth a new revelation to me. This day, the Lord inspired me to plumb deeper into my spirit.
In the middle of our usual tête-à-tête and laughs, Johnny’s face suddenly became austere. He clung onto the steering wheel so tightly and was too engrossed. He was so serious, more than usual while navigating those turns.
I felt a tight knot down my tummy. A mixture of emotions flooded my heart. I was not sure if it was the sudden change of the mood, or the Holy Spirit was communicating something to me. All I felt was a little tension followed by a calmness that only Christ gives.
Well, I chose the latter. The Lord reminding me to go slow on my words,
…everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
I deliberately, kept quiet, and whispered a prayer to God. Told Jesus to take the wheel. I wasn’t going to allow the devil in my thoughts! Every thought had to be subject to Christ, regardless!
We were dead silent. Johnny so focused on the road, and I deep in prayer.
It was only after 5 minutes or so I said, “Hunnie, you were so silent back there, was all okay? ”
He said, “Yes Hunnie, am well. So sorry. I just needed to concentrate.” “Did you notice the three bumps back there? They weren’t there yesterday, and worse, they have been put at the turns.”
Did I notice any bumps? Sincerely? No I didn’t! I was so busy chatting, telling my husband how the day was, who went where and how. Yet, he was doing almost a full time job. His concentration had to be on the road, trying to keep me safe, and at the same time, listen to me too.
If I chose the former, I would have missed him in the turns. I would have misconstrued his actions, for all intents and purposes.
I would be angry at him for keeping quiet in the car, yet there was no issue. I would have accused him of never listening to me, probably magnify it too much to a point of creating an unwarranted argument.
I would have missed him in the turns.
How many of us miss our husbands in the turns that life throws at them? How many more fail to see their silent screams? Yes I say see their screams, because his demeanour and all about it will tell you that he is screaming!
How many of us miss our husbands in the turns that hit them way below the belt and throws shrapnel at them that literally tear their souls, pride and ego way?
How many of us fail to comfort and suddenly turn the judge, the jury and the prosecutor?
Our judgement seats become way too comfortable in their turns. We get to self-absorbed, and fail to see them slipping away.
We miss them in the turns of life!
You see, God created a man to move into this world with an unwavering conviction that he can conquer. He was created to have dominion and authority.
From their infancy, into their teenage, men are simply out to find and conquer.
So many of them get stuck at the finding stage – sadly, some go through this world without ever finding themselves.
They battle with inadequacies, lack of approval and appreciation and most of them never rise to become the men God intended them to be. It’s no wonder that so many peg their identity and masculinity on how many cars they drive, where they stay, who they hang out with.
Take all that away, and the man is stripped, naked and ashamed. He has no identity!
Then comes marriage.
Even in the most “perfect” of marriages – in the sense that the couple have gotten their rhythm – there are always moments, livid moments, albeit temporal, where your biggest frustration is with your spouse.
Life has a levelling plane and every marriage gets to that point of levelling!
It’s at that point, the point where the scales are tipped towards the grime side of life, that sadly most of us lose our spouses. It is at those perilous moments in life, that most of us, miss our mark!
Most of us, dear wives, if we could get as real with our brokenness and scars, quit hiding behind the mask of an “independent me” demeanor, and admit our frailties, quit all the legalistic view of life, take off our heels, clear our make –up, most of us, lost our husbands because we didn’t bend when they bent.
We were never a source of comfort for their perplexities. We were never the balm to their raw wounds. We were never the sweet ballad to their aching souls. We were never the grace to their hurting pride. We were never the light in their darkest moments. We were never their biggest fan when they were hardest hit.
We never saw them navigate the turns because we were too busy to see. We lost our husbands in the turns of life because the world allured us with its bold lie, “fight for your rights” and we listened to the voice of self, instead of listening to the voice of help. We lost our husbands in the turns of life!
You see, so many women say that their husbands are closed, calloused and never open up – I say – which turn did you lose him at?
Life’s curve balls are inevitably inescapable. They might be slowed down by life’s bumps, but most of the time, we are so busy giving our conditions, the dos and don’ts of life, I say again, which turn did you lose him at?
Think back, was there a moment in your marriage where you passed a simple request such as, “Hunnie, please get me a cup of water? ”
Was there a time that you kept reminding him of his failures and his recurrent failed projects?
Was there a time he lost his job and instead of encouraging him to press on, you called him a coach potato?
Was there a time you praised another man so much yet you gave and still don’t give him any credit – because it is obvious that he must wake up and work?
Were there times that you openly shut him down before your friends or family members?
Were there moments that you were so focused on your children so much and paid no attention to your husband?
Were there moments that he openly showed his desire for you and crumpled his desire down?
Was there a time you disregarded his voice (whether reasonable or not) towards a particular issue because “you felt it was wrong?”
Was there a time you got so angry at him that you built emotional walls around yourself?
Was there a time you insisted on your own way?
I might not exhaust the whole list, but, which turn did you lose him at?
God did not create us with calloused hearts. For a man to cultivate, teach, protect and carry his family, he must be open and vulnerable to his suitable helper. He loved you, he chose you, but at which turn did you lose your husband at?
You hand our husband a petri dish full of conditions and the truth is, they cannot handle it. He cannot handle a conditional marriage. One that crushes him every day!
Think back, wasn’t there a time in life that you breathed a sigh of relief when someone extended grace to you when you least expected it?
Think back when someone made you experience an unadulterated kind of grace – didn’t it make a hard situation seem so surreal, because at that point, you needed that assurance? The real grace that was impervious to manipulation, eschewed scorekeeping and they loved the worst of you? They bent when you bent, turned when you turned, slowed down when you did and cried when you cried.
They did not make you feel bad at your worse, they didn’t nudge you to “get your acts together” they were simply there.
Wasn’t that experience one that left an indelible mark on you?
As he navigates through life’s inevitable turns, and has a conditional you on the other, he is literally pulled apart.
His emotions turn sore. He is livid that you cannot seem to grasp the turns he is trying to circumnavigate, the easiest route to redeem his pride, is to turn his emotions in.
We say that the world demands too much from us as women, but truthfully speaking, the sword cuts two-way. The world demands their souls – our husband’s souls!
So before you strap up your boots and walk all over him – take a pause – keep quiet, whisper a prayer for him, and let it aid him navigate the turns of life.
He is not mad, he is not aloof of your feelings, he is not jaded, he simply wants you to bend when he bends.
He simply wants you to come down from your high seat, and hold his hand and tell him, “Hunnie, you are stronger than this!” He simply wants a pat in the back for the “so obvious thing” to you.
He simply needs a prayer as he navigates the turns of life – a prayer of strength and grace. He simply needs a genuine appreciation, not one that feels as if you are handing him a cookie for good behavior.
Fellow wife, do not lose your husband in the turns of life! Do not lose your marriage, just because you cannot handle a sharp bend, when he needs you to bend so low with him. Turn when he turns, negotiate the corner when he does, slow down when he does.
Above all, beyond all, pray for him, pray that he negotiates the winding roads with ease and grace.
This might not anesthetize “your hurt feelings” nor validate your attitude today – but I can assure you that it will do much better than an anesthesia.
It might just cure an ailing attitude – since God reminded me too!
Do not lose your husband in the turns of life.