I have struggled for years to love my husband when he is sick. I am not alone in my struggles with sick men. There are plenty of hilarious jokes out there.
"During labor, the pain is so great that a woman can almost imagine what a man feels when he has a fever."
"I think I'm getting sick." The most dreaded words a wife can hear her husband say.
And my favorite..."I'm gonna kill him and put him outta MY misery!"
I've known for years that these attitudes had a dark edge. I didn't want to call them sin because sarcasm is probably one of my greatest temptations in regards to the sin of pride. I like to think that the wittiness of sarcasm helps me through difficult circumstances. But, all too often, it is at the expense of others and inappropriate for the situation. God convicted me especially regarding those comments where the husband is referred to as the additional "child." I knew, and there was no denying, that it was an unbiblical and sinful way to think, or speak, towards my husband and the leader of our home. It was as if there was a neon light flashing over my head..."Selfish!" The feelings of anger and frustration were like the check engine light of my heart...saying, "STOP! Pull over! Selfish, ugly explosion of SIN about to pour forth!" And rather than being the wise woman who builds her house...I was the foolish one who with my words and hands tore mine down (Proverbs 14:1).
I am thankful for the Holy Spirit's conviction. How he points to, highlights, and scrapes at anything that doesn't look like Christ in me. Maybe he should break out the heavy machinery. *sigh* No one likes how this discipline feels...but without true conviction and true repentance there can't be true reconciliation and relationship. And even though it's painful...I want that...I want to be more like Christ.
I've gone in spells trying to do better about my attitude on my own...knowing that I couldn't and shouldn't be ugly to Loverbrains when he's got a sinus infection or whatever. I always fail. Self effort is...stupid. I don't have the power. This time, I am hopeful that by admitting my inabilities and my need for help to God, that He IS and WILL keep helping me to love my husband well. Darren is in more pain with this pinched sciatic nerve than I have ever seen him. And now, my heart breaks as I watch him struggle...and I pray faithfully and fervently for him...rather than griping and thinking of myself.
Last night, I said something about all suffering being sanctifying and he looked at me like, "Bug off!" Cuz, really, who wants to hear that when they're suffering, right? Then I said, "Not for you...for me!" I'm grateful for this time of trial because it has worked to break me of a pet sin I've been coddling for years.
"So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you." Col. 3:5