And, it's a mixed message. I want him to see me as this strong and independent person but at the same time I want him to always be available to do what I want, when I want it; Like he's my slave or something. Like he doesn't have his own very demanding job. And, Oui, if he suggests that his job is more stressful than mine...lookout...may the laundry list of past grievances and turmoil flow.
I say all this to be funny...but it's not...and I wasn't. I was making everyone miserable...and putting my marriage and children in a dangerous environment. Our pastor split open Ephesians 4:32 for us...and my heart was really broken. "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. "
So, I started with being kind. I suggest starting one day at a time...and determine not to say anything negative or unkind about your husband or to your husband. If nothing else this will really humble you. When I was in this cycle of bitterness and selfishness I was FAR from being kind. This exercise helped me recognize this, repent of it, and seek ways to show kindness again. My Hero valiantly stepped up to the plate. When I was lady-like and kind, he became full of chivalry and kindness himself. Go figure, eh?
Next, I worked on tender-hearted. Of all of these...this was probably the hardest for me. Independent, strong women do NOT like to be vulnerable ya'll. It's uncomfortable and scary. I can truly say that God is faithful and protected my heart when I put it out. This really showed my Loverbrains that I was genuine in my desires for change. It helped him to trust me, talk with me, and be vulnerable in return. It gave him some Hero back...because after all, he is the God given head of this home. Seeing and understanding my heart....me, the weaker vessel...allowed him to champion my days. Knowing my struggles helped him lead our family spiritually. None of this would have happened if I hadn't repented of my hardened heart and allowed God to tenderize it. Remember how meat is tenderized? Bang, bang, bang...some of us are pretty tough chickens. But, the end result tastes much better.
Amid the process of tenderizing...forgiveness was a rather natural step. It's hard to become truly tender-hearted when you are holding on to the bitterness of un-forgiveness. And, it's not JUST simple forgiveness. Christ forgives completely. Psalm 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us." Real forgiveness prepared us for any subsiquent disagreements. I noticed this recently. If I don't bring up past junk and bitterness when we fight (yes, we still do occasionally)...We are both more tender to the current situation, how to fix it, how to make it better. Incidentally, my hero hates conflict. He's a quiet and thoughtful man...married to a hot-headed, LOUD woman. I can see him as my quiet, peace-making hero now. I used to see him as weak...but God has changed my view...and I can respect him as my leader and lover. That's a supernatural change, ya'll. There's no other answer for it.
Chrysalis is bringing Hero Husband back today on Marriage Monday...