How Day 2: “Believe in him: Be his biggest cheerleader” and “Block out what the world says” went.
As I mentioned, our family is going through some huge changes which means a lot of stress. Yesterday was no exception. My husband and I bickered again, let’s be real, we ARGUED. We were up for most of the night with our twins, and we were both exhausted. HOWEVER, before going to sleep (the first time), my husband sat in bed with me and we did devotions together out of Proverbs chapter 1. We had never done devotions together as a couple. The greatest thing about it was that my husband lead us, not me but my HUSBAND. We had a great discussion, we flipped through our Bibles, sharing verses that speak to us. Even as we were having devotions I thought “the devil is going to attack!” And, he did! He had us up all night with the kids, and of course, being up means being tired which means being cranky. The thing is, before we had made so many steps with God trying to change our marriage, our argument would have gone on for DAYS. Even if we had apologized, there would have been some bitterness. This time, apologies have been made, and we have totally moved on. How awesome is that?!?!
So, yesterday, I really didn’t have a lot of opportunity to “believe in him” or “block out what the world says” as I was at home all day, however as I said in the previous blog, I had already been working on this. Our marriage is DEFINITELY improving, and I am LOVING the ride! I’m actually enjoying being married rather than just enduring it! It’s wonderful! So onward!
Day 3: “C” Clean your house:
Remember, this was the “c” that we were taught at the retreat, so don’t blame me! I didn’t come up with it! The reason this was included as one of the ABCs of a successful marriage is because of the effect that clutter can have on your mind. I’ll be honest, one of my faults is that I’m a HORRIBLE housekeeper. We wouldn’t qualify for the Hoarders show or anything, but there’s laundry everywhere, I rarely have the energy to clean, and things pile up. Then when I get a “wild hair” as my husband calls it, I throw a TON of stuff away and clean the house from top to bottom with every chemical in the book. What this does is wear me down, it annoys my family and it makes it so that we are not constantly living in a clean house. At the beginning of this year, I was trying to do more cleaning, so the first thing that I did was clean my husband and my room. I wanted it to be our sanctuary. Previous to that, my husband spent very little time in our room, after having made our room into a sanctuary, it was almost like an argument as to who got to watch TV in our room and who had to stay in the living room! I’ll be honest though, the sanctuary has long since been destroyed, and we are back to the insanity that is our home. It’s actually somewhat worse now since we moved. I have an obsession about washing clothes that have been packed away, even if they were clean when we packed them. So now, every stitch of clothing that our family owns is in piles around the house, and every day I’m doing what feels like hundreds of loads of laundry. This means that when my husband and I come home from work (or at least when I WAS working), we would come home to a messy home. It’s hard to relax in a messy atmosphere.
I could easily use the excuse that we just moved. We live about 45 minutes away from where we go to work, and go to church. That means we really don’t spend a lot of time at home. Again, these are easy excuses. Since being laid off, I have made it my business to try to get the house into an appropriate living condition. I’m nowhere near where I need to be, but the house is improving and my husband is noticing! He even came home yesterday and said “wow the house smells nice!” You’ve gotta love that! Now, I do want to say that you have to be realistic. We have two two-year olds that are about to turn 3. This means that even when I get the house clean, I need to expect that it’s going to be run down on a daily basis by two living breathing tornadoes. Another way I need to be realistic is the amount of time that it’s going to take me to get the house together. This is where I have trouble. I have these lofty ideas that I can get the house together in a day or two, and all will be well, but the fact of the matter is that it will take much more time than that. Plus there are days I just don’t feel up to the job. Today for instance, because we were up all night, I’m exhausted, and I woke up with a serious sinus headache. Therefore, I have started setting small goals. For instance, I’m trying to get our room clean first. Then I’m working my way to the front of the house room by room. Because the results aren’t totally apparent at first, I’ve been telling my husband of my goals and what I have gotten done on a daily basis. It’s allowed him to be supportive of me, and when he has extra time, he’s able to help me without throwing my system completely off.
One of the things the lady said at the retreat was that the housekeeping reflects on the woman. No one goes to a married man’s home and says “wow this guy is a terrible housekeeper”. She does have a point. However, one of the reasons she gave for needing to keep your house clean was for the benefit of unexpected guests. I’m just going to be honest with you, I hate unexpected visitors. I think it’s rude to show up at someone’s home unannounced an uninvited. I’ve always felt that way. So that would almost be a reason that I’d want to keep my house a mess… then maybe they wouldn’t show up. I know…it’s horrible, but it’s true. The only reason that I will work on my house for other people, is because I don’t want it to reflect negatively on my husband. I don’t want my HUSBAND to have to hear that his wife is a terrible housekeeper. Therefore, I am working on this. Like many of the tasks, this one is constant and ongoing, so I will give you as much of an update as possible.
C: “Cling to Christ”
This one is mine. The reason for this lesson is because even independent women like myself tend to lean our husbands. We should, because they are the heads of the household. But we have to understand that that position can be very intimidating for a man. There’s a lot of pressure that comes along with that. It’s up to him to lead your household in the proper direction, it’s up to him to make sure that your family is cared for and has everything that it needs. That’s a LOT for someone to have to take on. He will stumble and he will fall, but it’s OUR job to pray for him, and for our family. If you are putting all of your stock into your husband, he will let you down. He is going to disappoint you because he’s human. Just as you will disappoint him. God is not going to disappoint you.
Last night, when our kids were up at 4am, and my husband and I were arguing, it wasn’t my husband that got us to calm down and see that we were behaving like lunatics. It wasn’t me either. It was God. If we are both clinging to God, then it makes us stronger. It makes it so that we can get through the rough patches together.
The other thing you have to think about is when you are going through rough times. As I said, I’m laid off. My husband is our sole source of income. Because the health insurance comes out of my husband’s check, he doesn’t net a whole lot. On Sunday, I told my husband that we hadn’t tithed yet. To get our tithe together, we had to go to the ATM and withdraw some money out of my account and some out of his. This left us with 9 dollars in each account. We still had to buy diapers and put gas in the van to get home. It’s a SUNDAY. There’s literally NOTHING my husband can do to fix that situation. NOTHING. At that point, we had to cling to God. We went to the alter together and prayed. I was worried about how we were going to put food on the table. We have food in the household, but you know how it is, you have 5 cake mixes, random cans of veggies, a piece of chicken here, a pork chop there. I knew it COULD be done, but it was going to be hard. Leaning on my husband at that point would have done me no good. As a matter of fact, it would have only made me bitter, because we’ve been here before. And as I discussed, it usually ends up coming out “how are you going to fix this?!?!?! Please TRY! FIX IT!” Instead, I leaned on God, as did my husband. I cried all the way to church, during the service, at the alter, going home from church etc. On the way home, a friend called us and asked us to pull over so that they could meet us. They handed us $90 more than we had paid out in tithes as a gift (of course we plan to pay them back). GOD did that. Not me, not my husband, no one but God. God fixed it in a way that we could not.
I said that to say this: there will be situations that are out of your control, but instead of turning to your husband and throwing the ball back at him saying “fix it”, you need to understand that your husband understands that taking care of the family is his responsibility. So take it to God. I’m not saying don’t tell your husband what’s going on and that you are concerned, but instead of looking at him wanting him to fix all of the issues, give those issues over to God. It is one of the most freeing things. In our marriage, we have often fought because of this very thing, because in my mind, my husband being the head of the household meant that he had to take care of everything. Of course, when he couldn’t, I had to come up with some kind of plan of scheme to set everything right. This only made me bitter and angry, and made me feel as though I was the leader in the household. This is not the way it should be. Although being a wife carries a lot of responsibility, being wonder woman is not one of them. So now, I look to my husband, and my God to fix what needs to be fixed and I follow their lead. What my husband can’t fix, I know that my God can, so there’s no point in me stressing, and there’s no point in me coming up with ten thousand schemes to try to set everything right. It’s NOT my job. Instead, I will pray for my husband and our family always, and even more so in the situations that we have no control over.
You’ve probably never heard a sermon entitled “your husband’s got this” and there’s a reason for that, he’s NOT SUPERMAN! It’s always “GOD’S got this”. So, support your husband, be proud of him when through the power of God he’s able to provide for your family, but when things look hopeless and it’s OBVIOUS that the situation is out of your or your husband’s control, cling to Christ. Let your husband cling to Christ, and then watch what God can do.
That’s all for today. I just want to say that since coming home from the retreat and since both of us have been working on our marriage, I’m the HAPPIEST in my marriage that I have EVER been. PRAISE GOD! Keep clinging to Christ, he can handle it!