This is a guest post from a dear friend of mine, Kayla Gulick, who blogs at www.lessonsofmercy.wordpress.com. This one will be a HUGE encouragement for those of you who are just getting started on this journey to obey and love God with all your hearts and become the godly wives He wants you to be! Our motives MUST be to know and love God and to desire to obey Him. And as we delight ourselves in the Lord, He truly does often give us the desires of our hearts.
Monday night. (For all my faithful readers, you know if I start my entry with a specific time, or announcing “it’s confession time” it’s going to be a good post.)
Based on schedules, it happened to be the night this week that the guys worked out to get together to play guitar. So, I got my much appreciated alone time while my husband enjoyed guy and guitar time – two awesome things!
When he came home, I was just wrapping up some things and ready to head to bed. As I was talking with him, he sat down in the chair and started rubbing my feet. RUBBING MY FEET??? I can only remember him doing that two other times, and both were because I was massively pregnant and my feet hurt so darn bad, he couldn’t do anything but be willing to help me out from sheer humanity.
I don’t know if he noticed but I couldn’t keep my concentration. I was fumbling all over the place trying to finish my sentences. I didn’t want to say “What are you doing?” and make him feel like he should stop. But I also didn’t want to say “Oh my gosh, this is wonderful” and make him feel like he needs to do it all the time. I was SO overwhelmed!!
Anyway, we made our way into bed and while laying there he says, all on his own accord, with no prompting or question asking, “I really missed you tonight.” Totally caught off guard, I said “Yeah?” He said “Yes, I missed you so much. I was having fun, but I kept thinking about you and wishing you were there and that I could spend time with you.” I said “I missed you too and I really love you too.” Big Hug & Kiss. Then I said “Hey Babe, is this the first time you’ve ever missed me?” He says “Umm, I’ve went out a lot of times to have fun and I don’t remember missing you.” Silence. Hugs. Kisses. Me – ”I’m not sure if I’m really glad that we’re at a place in our marriage where you really miss me now, or if I’m sad that it took so long for us to get here.”
This guy sometimes seems to good to be real. He says “I think it is because the longer you’re married, the more you learn about love. And now that I’ve learned how to really love you, I miss you.”
That’s sweet and all, but it’s not why he missed me.
Here is the reality. The cold hard truth. The smack upside the head.
I’m finally becoming a wife worth missing.
Before, when he would go out with friends, which in different seasons has ranged from once a month, to numerous times a week (playing baseball, basketball, poker, etc.) I was not lovely about it.
I was jealous that I didn’t have things going on myself, or was unable to participate because of being pregnant or nursing. I was bitter that he could have so much fun without me. I was lonely. I was fearful of him not being where he was supposed to be, meeting another woman, having all his best memories without me. I was angry that his whole world didn’t revolve around me. And more.
I would pout and be ready to pick fights right as he was heading out the door (mostly in a last stitch effort to get him to stay) and if he did go, or I wasn’t a jerk when he left, I was a train wreck when he got back. “You were gone an awful long time, I sure hope it was worth it.” “Why didn’t you call or check in if you were going to end up going to xyz too.” “Sure that’s convenient that you’d run into so & so.”
And the worst part is that, I totally felt justified in every way to act the way I was, feel the things I was feeling, and say everything that came out of my mouth.
I wish I could tell you that the times when he was going out were the only times I acted this way. But that wouldn’t be honest.
I made mountains out of mole hills, daily.
I’d be mad if he didn’t call when I thought he should have.
I’d be mad if he didn’t eat his lunch that I packed because he ended up going out to eat for a work related reason.
I’d treat him terrible if he didn’t do what I asked him to do within seconds of my asking him to do it.
share my feelings lecture him when he hurt me, messed up, gave into a temptation I don’t struggle with, didn’t do what I wanted done, had a different opinion, enjoyed movies I don’t… this darn list is not exhaustive. Embarrassing to no end, yet painfully without an actual end.
Back to Monday night…. I said to him “Honey, that’s nice, but I wouldn’t have missed me then either.”
Praise God, He has opened my eyes to my sin. He’s granted me mercy to try again, and grace to find success. And more over, He’s helped me find freedom from the bondage that was causing most of these reactions (that seemed valid – because believe me… I could tell it in a way that made him look like the WORST husband in the world!) fear, pride, and idolatry.
Let me just make sure before closing that you understand, my husband had said things like “I’ll miss you, or I missed you” when returning from a business trip. That isn’t the kind of “I really missed you” that he said to me Monday night with such sincerity, eagerness, love and truth. He is not sinless. He too is in desperate need of Christ to empower him to lay himself down and learn to love me like Christ loves the Church, show grace, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, faithfulness, and serve me daily. I’m not making any claims that I married a saint and all the problems that have ever existed are mine.
HOWEVER- and this is big, most of the really big problems that really seemed detrimentally wrong in our marriage, that I was positive beyond a shadow of a doubt were clearly ALL his fault, were my fault. And I couldn’t see it. And I would have never believed it if someone told me that. And I’m so thankful God pursued me without giving up until I finally saw the truth of what was going on.
If you’re unhappy or feel like your husband has a huge list of things to work on… chances are he does. But a greater chance is that, YOU have stuff to work on first. Just like I did/do.
Pray, and ask God to show you where you might be falling short as a wife. And prepare yourself to handle the truth. When we ask God to show us the truth, He will.
We have a hard time realizing that because we don’t think the problem lies with us, so we don’t ask God to show us where we’re wrong. We pray “help him to change this, understand this, do better at this” when all the time, we often have a bigger list than he does to work on.