We were out at sea on an early anniversary cruise. This was our last day aboard and so far it had been fairly uneventful and relaxing. Well, that was all going to change rather quickly.
My husband had just “unloaded on me", and I was stunned. All I wanted was to spend the next ten minutes sitting on our balcony, looking out into the calming rolling waves aboard our cruise ship instead of packing. I wasn't being disrespectful - at least I didn't think I was...
My husband is not a procrastinator, and he simply wanted me to finish putting my dress clothes into the hanging bag so he could complete his project. Remember, men are task oriented, and they generally prefer to do one thing at a time. His “task” was packing early enough on the last night of our cruise so we could enjoy dinner, watch the parade, and have fun with our friends before going to bed. Was his request unreasonable? No. So what almost turned this “mole hill” incident into a mountain?
You might say I jumped the gun by retorting that I only wanted to go outside for about ten minutes and enjoy sitting on that balcony we paid for. It was probably the “tone of my voice” that he didn’t like, because he immediately ranted that I had already spent too much time on the internet (quickly scanning my business emails), walking around with my friend on the promenade deck window shopping, and doing what I wanted to do earlier in the day. Mind you - I always ask him if he'd mind if I do something before I do it. I don't need his approval, but I feel it is just more respectful to ask.
WOW – I could hardly believe what I was hearing!
My blood started to boil as I sent up an SOS prayer to the Lord and slowly began to compose myself. If I ever needed the fruit of the Spirit to show through – it was now! I remember saying very calmly that I had only spent about fifteen minutes on the laptop checking emails, and I started grabbing my clothes and putting them into the hanging bag as he “huffed and puffed” around the room. I didn’t say another thing… I just packed.
The fruit of the Sprit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. So far – I only managed to display a few of them. Satan surely knows when to ruin a good thing, doesn’t he? This was the last night of our vacation that was an early celebration of 35 years of marriage. I had to do what I could to redeem the remainder of time we had left and obtain a quick “attitude adjustment”.
God quickened my Spirit to be sweet and defer to my husband on this matter. I decided as a deliberate act of my will to obey, and my body language improved as a result. I submitted to the Lord, and in doing so, submitted to my husband with a Godly attitude. When I finished packing as much as I could before we got ready for dinner, I realized that he was right to give me a nudge to finish up, and thus prevent a melt-down later on that evening. We knew that we would be getting up very early the next morning. His goal was to reduce our stress then by completing that one task that was on his schedule.
I ask the Lord frequently to help me to be the kind of wife I need to be in order to bring harmony and peace into our relationship. I have held my tongue, captured my thoughts, and given myself a swift kick in the pants on more than one occasion. I suspect I’ll face more trials and snags in our marriage, as any married couple does.. I also know that I have a Savior Who loves me and guides me with His eye upon me. He will continue to give me the grace I need to display the love and gentleness that is expected of me.
And yes, my husband did apologize for his remarks, and I apologized for my behavior. I never did get to sit out on our balcony, but that’s okay. Our last cruise night turned out for the better because I listened to that still small voice of the Lord instead of the enemy’s lies. Can you relate to this scenario? Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill. Give it to God instead…