It seems simple enough, which is why I don’t understand how bills get paid and yet the “to be paid” stack on our desk continues to grow.
Laundry hamper = Big.
Clothing item = Small.
Husband = Good at Basketball.
These are all true statements, which is why I don’t understand how clothes land on the perimeter of the hamper but not in the hamper.
Unwind air compressor hose.
Recoil air compressor hose.
Such a small task, yet I can’t imagine how the uncoiled black hose ended up strewn across the garage floor…again.
I clench my teeth, tighten my fists, and walk pointedly down the hall way to ask Brett how hard it is to shred the bills, put the laundry in the hamper, and wind up the air compressor hose, when I see the kids having a blast rough housing with their dad…when I find my husband enjoying a rare conversation with his dad…when my husband comes up behind me and whispers in my ear.
The truth is there are a million things requiring Brett’s attention and adding to his stress. Whether or not I like to admit it, my little requests add up to a mighty long list. Does it really matter if I take two seconds to shred the paid bills, throw the clothes in the hamper, or wind up the darn air compressor cord…again?
Of course, if I remind him, Brett will readily complete each task. He will stop playing with the kids. He will end a conversation with his dad. He will cease flirting with me.
In reality, what is the greater good? I have an opportunity to take something off Brett’s plate, avoid confrontation, and make myself feel better knowing the task is complete.
Ultimately, at the end of the day, isn’t that what I am going for anyway?
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving each other. Whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
I love how we are asked to put on a heart of compassion before anything else. Compassion is a rich moving love, it compels us to be kind, humble, merciful, gentle and forgiving. As much as I love the charge to be compassionate, as much as I read that verse and think, “Yes!” I want to be a woman with a heart like that.” It’s hard to be compassionate, especially towards my husband. The reality is I would much rather change my husband’s behavior than help to alleviate his stress or lighten his load.
What if I picked my battles a bit more sparingly? What if I made a shift in my perspective? How awesome would it be if I spent less time focusing on the ways Brett has not met my expectations, and spent more time trying to far exceed his?
We are called to show mercy. Showing mercy toward Brett means easing up when it comes to identifying his shortcomings and not mentioning every bad habit, forgotten task, or hiccup. Showing mercy means cutting Brett some slack and practicing patience towards the things I find annoying and frustrating.
It’s like I remind my children, treat others as you hope to be treated. Where mercy is concerned, this couldn’t ring more true. Oh how I long for him to dismiss my behavior when I am PMSing, ignore a forgotten chore when the day has gotten away from me, and step into help when I seem overwhelmed.
As much as I hope to receive Brett’s mercy on a given day, I need to extend him the same compassion and grace.
When is comes to our marriages, we are called to put on a heart of compassion. We are called to be kind, humble, gentle, and long suffering towards our husbands. We are called to forgive. We are called to clothe ourselves with love, because love is the perfect bond of unity. You and your husband are on the same team, unified by love.
Compassion should direct our words and actions. When we are on the brink of snapping and slamming our men, let’s pause and consider a compassionate approach.
Oh, Lord! Help me – please. Help me show mercy towards Brett. Change my heart so that I might be long-suffering. May my heart overflow with grace and compassion. Thank you for the gift of my husband. Open my eyes to focus on the amazing things he does rather than the little things he doesn’t. In your Son’s precious name, Amen.