Life Outside vs Inside the Home
Is it easier, I wonder, to be nice to people we don’t know that much — those that aren’t so close to us? Doing good to others seems not as difficult as caring for our own. Is it because we see the faults of our family members every day while the blemishes of strangers are hidden from us? How come that at home we run out of patience and love so quickly?
My husband is my best friend here on earth. Many who will look at us will say that we are having a good marriage. Our close friendship is a testimony to others which is lovely. What, however, is going on behind closed doors? That’s when my marriage becomes a little more of a challenge to me. It requires love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control — all things that do not come naturally for me.
Does He Care?
Why is he acting so differently at home?
My husband feels free to do as he pleases at home. He might not shut that door, turn off that light, or take that trash out when needed. Is it because he couldn’t care less?
He will not give me the attention I’m craving for. Is it because it makes no difference to him what I’m feeling or what I’m in need of?
Things that I see as very important seem to be of no concern to him. Has his love for me grown cold?
I have gone wrong so many times before in accusing my husband of: being selfish, too lazy to do simple things, not giving me the attention I “deserve”, unthoughtful, neglecting to recognize what I need.
Now, please hear me, I’m not saying that I’ll approve of laziness and carelessness. Of course not! What I’m saying is that I have to see things differently, so I’m readjusting my focus. Sometimes he does and he says things not because he couldn’t care less but for the simple fact that he is a man. Men and women have different roles and so they do things in different way. Knowing and reminding myself of this helps me tremendously to keep my calm.
It’s like seeing things with a different view. Imagine using binoculars: what happens if you are looking through them? You’ll zoom in and things appear bigger. Would if you are using binoculars the opposite way? Things will look like they are in a great distance.
Turn the binoculars around. They say that before marriage you will need to have a closer look at things, but into your marriage you will have to show more grace. In other words, magnify what is important before you are getting married, and reduce what isn’t worth a fight once you are married.
The Holy Spirit at Work
Sure, I can be nice for a while and show love to my husband. Oh, yes, there is joy in my life, but the kind produced by my human effort will vanish as soon as trouble hits. Peace? Long-suffering? Gentleness? Self-control? Are you kidding me? I run out of these within a few hours into the day. I’m so desperate to develop that gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4) …
See, due to our nature, we are not able to stay calm, gentle, quiet, and joyful while hardship strikes. We need to have the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). That takes faith in Christ and the working of the Holy Spirit within us. Otherwise it will remain a faked calmness and joy that will, eventually, make us stumble and fall.