I sinned against her this morning. Of course we were arguing about money. After all, it is one of the most common topics that couples fight about. We have made history this week. This is the first time since we've been married that our bank account has dipped below 100 dollars. I'm not ashamed to say it because I believe that we have been spending money wisely. We rarely eat out at restaurants, we only buy clothes if we need them, and we budget every dollar we spend. Recently Jen and I were both sick. She had trouble breathing, so she needed to visit the doctor a few times. Thankfully, we have insurance and only needed to pay for the co-pay. But add up three or four visits, prescriptions, and no paid time off work...it sets us back quite a bit. All our hard work of spending money wisely is down the drain just because Jen gets a little virus.
But I don't want to debate the issue of health care right now. I am thinking about my marriage. It wasn't even that big of a deal this morning. She reminded me of something and I reacted by being defensive and rude. I have a real problem with my tone. And I never realized I had that problem until we got married.
Thankfully, she forgave me this morning like she always does. Thankfully, we are able to trust that the other person will forgive us if we screw up. Thankfully, we depend on Christ in our marriage which spawns a desire to consistently do our best to grow in our love (verb) for each other.
Growing is hard. God is pruning us when we are convicted of sin. Right now I feel like God is getting some extra help to prune my tree as fast as possible. I keep making the same mistakes when trying to communicate with my wife. So what can I do? Well, I really have two choices. 1) To give up and separate myself from my wife, or 2) To believe God's Word and follow it.
God's Word says to fight the good fight and to love my wife. I just need to keep at it. If I truly believe what Jesus says is truth, then I had better do my best to show it in my marriage.
Some practical things that I want to do differently in my marriage:
- Write love notes in the morning while I read my Bible. Leave them for her on the coffee pot or the door knob so she sees them before she leaves for work.
- Turn off the radio in the car on my drive home. Instead, focus on ways to serve my wife before I get home.
- Hold my lips shut with my fingers until she's done talking. Listen to her words and try to understand her point of view instead of making her see mine.
My marriage is more important to me than my own personal desires. Jesus calls us to serve one another and that's exactly what I'm trying to do. I am trusting that this is the right path.
Image from andertoons.com