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Is he a blessing or a burden in my life?  Of course, I want to say he’s a blessing – he’s a wonderful husband and I love him dearly.  But do my words and actions say that to him?  Or do I, on a daily basis, tell him he’s a burden?

How does he feel when I complain?

How does he feel when I give my opinion about something he’s doing?

How does he feel when I throw a fit after he’s asked me to do something for him?

When I groan and hang my head because he wants me to make lunch?

When I whine that it’s too late and my body needs rest?  Doesn’t he care about me?

How does he feel seeing me exhausted after work every day?

I want him to know how great I think he is.  I want him to know I appreciate the time and effort he puts into leading me.  I want him to know that he is truly a blessing in my life.

But more often, I’m afraid he feels like a burden.

More often, I want him to appreciate me.  I want him to truly see all that I do and shower me with praises.  I want him to show me sympathy when I don’t feel well because I do so much.

I want him to lead our family, but have I given him the reins?  It’s likely he’s had to fight every day for the past 6.5 years to get a hold of the reins.  After a while, it’s probably easier just to let me do it my way.

Why am I so negative?

Why do I get so irritated by little things that he does?

There are days I don’t even want to be around him, why?!  What has he done to deserve such contempt?

Over the years he’s shown me kindness, patience, strength, courage.  He’s challenged me to be better than I am.  He’s hoped for me to learn new things that I might find greater joy in life.  He’s loved me when I’ve been at my worst – completely ugly and unlovable.  He’s fought for me on a daily basis.  He’s fought for us more often than that.  He’s never lost hope that our relationship would continue to grow and things would only get better.  He’s listened to me.  Comforted me.  Completed my “to-do” lists.  Taken me on dates.  Bragged about me.  Encouraged me.  Prayed for me.

So why so much disapproval?

Because I’m more in love with myself than I am with my husband.  I’m more worried about my own well-being than his.  I don’t have a heart to serve him unless I feel he’s completely fulfilled his duties in loving me.  I focus on 50-50.  I’m giving this much, so he should be giving this much.  But that’s not what Jesus said.  He told us to lay down our lives for one another.  To think of the other more highly than ourselves.  To be willing to give everything to one another in love.  No holding back.

Today I read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.  It seems old and redundant, but it’s not.  It can make us new.

1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Lord, if I could only read your word and do what it says, I would be able to live so freely.  But it’s not that easy.  Most days I’m weighed down by my own flesh and struggle to find the will to fight.  I’m tired.  Fighting is exhausting.  But your grace is enough, thank you for your grace.

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