God is not silent. In the midst of this my tolerance level has dipped very low and taken my patience with it. Humility comes as one falls ill..and this time it was one who rarely takes that fall. A virus has visited him once again ... one that flares when stress is high; shingles. Painful and frustrating, it is something that stopped my crazy frenzy and made me sit for a while and reflect. During his silent struggle I have been his worst enemy. Unwilling to stop and see what was happening before me, I bemoaned the chores and the list while ignoring what truly mattered.
I share this bracing dose of reality with you, because we all have the potential to be our spouse's worst enemy. For me, it is never a conscious decision or even a deliberate act..it is a slow progression that starts with a single wrong choice. It grows and festers into a vile frame of mind that shows in my attitude and spreads to my actions. Hurtful and damaging, it must be stopped or it will ultimately destroy; I can't afford that in my life or his..we are bound in Christ to be one.
There are many ways to slip into 'enemy' mode. I have fallen to many over my many years of married life, and due to the prodding of my heavenly Father..I honestly and openly share them with you.
1. When my actions are ruled by emotions, not wisdom
2. When my home is not in order; I am not were I should be doing what I should do
3. When idols take hold of my heart; if I am idle, not active to serve
4. When my words are critical or harsh instead of loving and edifying
5. When bitterness takes root or pride swells where humility should reside
6. When disputes reach my ears and I engage where I should have stopped it
7. When gossip poisons my mind instead of pure thoughts
8. When God is not first; when my husband is not second to God in my heart
9. When I allow my weakness to hinder me; when I am impaired by my shortcomings
10. When others influence me more than he does
When my attitude is out of order!
The reality hit my like a two by four and knocked me to my knees. I had acted in a way that led him to walk in silence not sharing his needs and concerns. My role as a wife was failed and my place as helpmeet compromised. Confession was called for..to my Lord and my husband. Prayer came with grief..for my forgiveness..for strength to walk right..for my husband's forgiveness and mending of our relationship.
My heart was drawn to Scripture to strengthen my climb out of this pit; every word one rung higher on the ladder toward the light. One that I cling to:
"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, Brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things re of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you."
Philippians 4: 6-9
Change takes work and correcting a pattern of behavior- even if it was only a few days- is a struggle. Graciously my husband's strong and loving embrace softened my disposition and encouraged me with his loving forgiveness. Today I set aside the desire to 'get it all done'..I focus on my priorities and my heart. No one thing under heaven is as precious or long lasting as our family.