30 DAYS OF GRATITUDE; DAY 8 – TURN & BEND WITH HIM.
DAY 8: TURN AND BEND WITH HIM
We always drive through the winding roads around the City with ease, comfort and laughter. 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, James 1: 19…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 demeanor, talk, body language, and all, 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 them, and we 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!
I remember being so bitter against my husband for not listening to me regarding a particular project that costed us an arm and leg.
Probably I was right (I suppose I was), but my way of conveying my disappointments left a bitter taste to an already sour mouth. It was not easy for either of us, (more so I), admitting to my reaction, liabilities and choices that lead us to our stone faced crisis. We were between a hard place and a rock.
Then on one particular rant day against my husband, I locked myself in the bathroom, cried my eyes out until I clearly the Lord tell me to bend and salvage the situation. I battled the burden, but the Lord kept pressing it on me to bend with him. “How?” He was the one on the wrong – not me!
Like a thorn in the flesh, the pulse was real. The Lord told me I was foolish not to bend. I was wrong from the word go! “Lord how?” The voice was too persistent, saying “bend.” So I bent. I bent down. I cast down my pride and ego, and held my husband’s hand once more.
It was hard. This financial crisis was ours to tackle. Not him alone, but together.
You see dear wives, what keeps us from reconciling with our husbands is not anything else but pride.
Pride bloated into anger, is what will make you wait for him to apologize rather than reach out to him.
Pride bloated into anger, is what will make you “keep your stashed cash” just in case he messes you up again.
Pride bloated into anger, is what makes us point at their weaknesses thinking that it will wake them up!
Pride bloated into anger, is what makes us think we are perfect and they have some “growing up” to do.
Pride bloated into anger, is what will keep his failures on your scoreboard rather than forgive and move on swiftly.
Pride is what makes us not bend when they get to their bends and turns.
That same pride is what creates emotional walls between us and our husbands because we are never a source of comfort to their wounded souls or egos. We dig in our heels and seat high on our pedestals, after all, they are the messed up ones, right?
Judges 13 talks about a couple who were going through a turn in their life. Am sure Manoah was going through a turn with his wife’s childlessness and infertility. Am sure it wasn’t easy for them. Am sure he was jeered by his friends, probably telling him that he wasn’t man enough.
Children were highly regarded then and childlessness was viewed as a curse. But then the Lord had better plans for them. Manoah’s wife received the Lord’s message that she will bear a son and he will be a Nazarite. Manoah, not so discerning until after his sacrifice, was so afraid of their death, on realizing that they were speaking to Christ much later. He expressed his concerns to his wife.
I know most us would go like, “Really? You didn’t see that he was looking bright? Duh! What is wrong with your eyes?” or “Oh my goodness, you will make us look stupid for not understanding who that guy was! That was Jesus, you don’t get?”.
But see, The Bible calls Manoah’s wife SENSIBLE. She didn’t call her husband stupid. She didn’t think Manoah was a little brain head, or brain dead! She bent and offered her wise counsel on why the Lord cannot strike them then, and how he could navigate through his fears. Nowhere did she point out at his weakness of lack of discernment!
I don’t mean that you should not correct your husband. You should, but with wisdom.
A wise woman will understand that shouting at a bend will startle her husband and they will find themselves skidding off the road!
So many marriages have veered off the marriage road because wives do not understand when they should talk, and if they should talk, how they should talk. You think quitting it all in your home, just because you are angry, will suddenly put your husband back on track? It is unwise my fellow wife.
He is focused on navigating the turns, while you are busy shouting him down. What he might do, is pull over, get off the car and begin walking alone. Then you will begin shouting at him again to get back in the car, but your voice reverberates discouragement. He would rather starve off, walking in peace.
Proverbs 21:19 says, it is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
Today, the Lord is challenging us to cast down our pride and break away from the chains of anger. We need to bend with our husbands in their turns. It could be their fault, they could have made mistakes that will ripple down its consequences 5,10 years down, but marriage is for better and for worse.
Being right in marriage, will mean you “losing” your rightness, for God’s righteousness.
A change of tone would do, a little encouragement would do, a rub on his back, a warm smile, or a simple “Hey LOVE, I got you! Am here!”
Just pause, breathe in and out, close your eyes, shut up and pray.
Bend when he bends. Turn when he turns. Be his comfort when perplexed. Be his peace when in turmoil. Be his haven, when the world brews hell for him. He has enough to fight with out there, he needs not fight again at home.
Pray for him to navigate the turn(s).
Most importantly, love him through the bends!
VERSE OF THE DAY: Proverbs 21:11 A word spoken at the right time is like gold apples on a silver tray.
D.I.Y: Write down a list of things that you have not encouraged your husband through. Think them through. One by one repent to Christ. Ask the Lord to release you from any bitterness that could have resulted in your “marriage car” being packed.
Take the evening to ask your husband for forgiveness for not “encouraging him” in the right way. Assure him of your support and encouragement going forward. Hold his hand through whatever turn he has.
Go point: Be sincere. Check your tone too. Remember it’s not an argument. It’s not about being right. Again, being a winner, in marriage, will mean you “losing” your rightness, for God’s righteousness.
This day Lord, I come to you with an open heart to learn and to receive from you the instruction for my marriage. I know my husband faces a lot of challenges in his life. I know he does best to keep us knit together but Lord sometimes I feel he makes obvious mistakes.
Lord, that’s when my pride puffs up and I can’t wait to point out to every tiny mistake he has ever done. I know Lord you eschew score keeping yet Lord, it’s what I do best. Teach me to extend grace to him even when I feel he least deserves it.
Make me an example to him, of loving him beyond the human mistakes and errors. Make me a better wife by teaching me your precepts. Teach me to discern his bends and turns and make me an encouragement to him when he’s most downtrodden. Teach my heart Lord and break every spirit of pride in me.
In Jesus name I pray,