A Team of Three: When Pride Divides…
Proverbs 25:24 says, “It is better to live in a corner of the roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman.” Two weeks ago, I was that contentious woman. Okay, I still am sometimes…(a lot of times… But by God’s grace, I am learning and growing in Christ!)
I’ve been married to an amazing man for four years now. He has been a wonderful husband and an awesome father to our children.
Three weeks ago, we had our third child. Yes…four years and three kids! (We have been living up to the verse in Genesis 9:7, “As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”)
We welcomed our little girl Kathryn Rose on September 10, 2015 at 37 weeks and one day. Her arrival came to us as a great surprise. Both our boys came past their due dates, so we expected to have Kaydi after 40 weeks as well. But God in His sovereignty had other plans. He chose to bless us with her presence much earlier than we anticipated. We were totally unprepared. We moved in to our new house about a month ago and we had just finished unpacking our last box. I recently finished getting our bedroom and the boys’ room together. But everything that was needed for little Kaydi was undone! Her bassinet wasn’t set up, her clothes weren’t washed and our hospital bag wasn’t packed. I was planning to get to them that week! Instead, on that fateful Wednesday afternoon, we rushed to get everything together and went straight to the hospital. My doctor decided to induce me on my 37th week (with half a day’s notice) because our little girl was measuring at only 3%. She was concerned about Kaydi’s growth and decided it would be best that she would grow better out here than in the womb. This caught us by surprise. But we trusted that the doctors knew what was best for her and I. So we went in to get induced that evening. We had Kaydi five hours after I received the Pitocin. It was by far my longest and most painful labor (because my body wasn’t ready to deliver a baby.) But as soon as we laid eyes on her, our hearts were filled with joy. We knew God had planned her birthday perfectly and He had chosen this day for us to celebrate. She had no complications and we were cleared to be discharged after being monitored in the hospital for two days.
We were back to reality (aka home) on Saturday and my husband (who had a pending trial), had to head back to work on Monday. I reassured him that I could handle our three children all on my own. Though I was tired, I got through the first two weeks alive.
After those two weeks, Chris was finally able to take a few days off to spend time with us. But on his third day home, this contentious woman (ME!) allowed her pride to take over. After a nice lunch together, Chris asked me if it was okay for him to rearrange the kitchen. He asked if he could move the microwave and the rice cooker to the other side of the counter. I am usually pretty flexible with things but for some reason (I blamed it on the hormones…) I lost it! I answered him disrespectfully and told him he could do whatever he wanted (in a really irritated tone…yes it’s the tone!). I rolled my eyes (attitude!!!) and walked away. Of course this did not sit well with him. I aggravated it by sighing too. This really ticked him off! I took the boys to their room and put them down for a nap while he cleaned the kitchen. After I came out, I reluctantly apologized for my bad attitude. But he wasn’t ready to accept it without a conversation. I just wanted him to say, “Okay, I forgive you” and we would both move on! Unfortunately, that’s not how my husband settles things. He likes to talk and discuss the issues together. I, on the other hand, likes it resolved right away: Tell me what’s wrong, we both apologize then move on.
As he explained to me what irritated him, I again, rolled my eyes and let out a sigh. This really disrespected him. We got into a heated argument and right at the peak of it, I blurted the worst words that could come out of a wife’s mouth. “Things were so much easier when you were at work! I handled everything myself and it went fine! You should just go back to work and let me take care of everything in this house.”
UH-HUH! That was it! I couldn’t take it back! I wanted to duck tape my mouth and wash it with soap but it was too late. I had broken my husband and disrespected him to the core. The damage had been done. As James 3:8 says, “but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” I had let out the deadliest poison against my best friend and my life partner. I felt so bad and so guilty but I knew my words had already hurt him. My turbulent behavior and erratic emotions broke my husband’s spirit and crushed his confidence. He got teary eyed as those words sunk in. I cried and tried to apologize but no words could heal the wound I just opened. After a while, he accepted my apology and we hugged it out. But I knew my words had completely devastated him.
After we made up, I walked away and spent a few minutes alone in our room. I read the Bible and thought through the terrible incident. God allowed me to realize that it wasn’t the fact that he wanted to rearrange things in the house or change how I was running our household but it was my pride and recent feelings of emotional neglect that got in the way. It was my own selfishness and insecurity that needed to be addressed. I realized it didn’t matter if the microwave was on the left or on the right side of the counter or if the rice cooker was placed on top, below or next to it. I could blame my crazy hormones countless times, but what mattered most was my heart. My needy little heart wanted my husband to appreciate me for keeping things in order (and everyone alive) the past two weeks that he had to be at work. I needed him to affirm my abilities as a wife and as a mom because I held the fort down while he was gone, even with a newborn. I wanted him to recognize my efforts and acknowledge my performance. All I wanted were words of encouragement from him that reassured of my place in his heart and in our home. But God gently nudged me and reminded me that it was my insecurity and pride that needed to be addressed. I shouldn’t be looking for affirmation from people instead I needed it from Him.
I quietly realized that I needed to find my security in Christ and not in Chris.
I recognized that my ability to handle my home and my children wasn’t because I was a supermom but because of God’s grace. I had forgotten that I was living for an audience of ONE. My heart was humbled (and my hormones were controlled.) This moment of silence and reflection taught me of my limited capacity to love and serve my husband and my children but most of all, my God. I prayed to ask God to forgive me and thanked Him for His words of love and conviction.
I quickly ran out to Chris and told him about my realization. He was busy holding our boys in his lap as I shared my sentiments with him. He gently put them down and held me close. He gave me a big hug and a kiss and apologized to me about his insensitivity. He told me he had realized and recognized all my hard work but he hadn’t articulated them. He reassured me that he saw how hard it was to handle our home with an active three year old, a curious toddler and a needy newborn. His tight hug reassured me that he loved me and appreciated me. It was all I needed as tears rolled down my face. I told him that the most amazing part about my moment with God was His reminder that HE was my strength and that I needed to do this for Him. It is a joy and a privilege to serve Him as a wife and as mom. This is a season in my life that I really enjoy and embrace. It is not easy to juggle three kids (three and under), have a wanna-be clean and neat home, fold and put away a couple mountain-loads of laundry and satisfy a hard-working husband. But by God’s grace, I am striving and doing okay (most of the time.) The point is not perfection but the pursuit of oneness in Christ. We are a team and together, we can apply and commit to pursuing and building a marriage, a home and family that upholds Christ’s name.
My horrible, rude and disrespectful comment allowed me to open my eyes and my heart to a greater understanding of my hope in Jesus. We are a team: God, Chris and Me! We are blessed to grow together through the bible and the truth that it brings to our marriage. I’m not proud of what I did but I delight in the grace that God showed me through my mistake. I know I will never be the perfect wife and we have a long way to go, but it is through my weaknesses that God’s strength is highlighted.