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You know, being at home all day and taking care of things, in your children, offers you the opportunity to develop a “way” to do virtually everything. And I think that it’s been great that I’ve been able to streamline a lot of what I do, increasing my efficiency, so that I can get back to spending time with my family. Yet, there is always one perpetual bump in the road: when my husband doesn’t do it my way. L

With my husband being a professor and researching on the side, I absolutely love the fact that he gets summer break and all those others breaks officially off (how much of his break he actually takes off is a completely different matter…lol). And I consider a great blessing to have him more at home during the summers. It’s especially helpful to have him keep an eye on our daughter when I’m trying to get something done or even taken a day for myself. But, when I ask my husband to do something is when I run into my bump.

You know, generally, a lot of men don’t do things the same way a woman would do them. And for us, my husband generally has a way of doing things that are a little different then how I would do them. Now, my disclaimer is that I know I married a man who was and is perfectly capable of taking care of himself far better than a lot of men who have absolutely no domestic training. So, I truly can’t complain.

So when his way differs from mine, my natural reaction is to cringe a bit and try to find a nice way to get him to do it my way. I know from experience that if I try to flat out tell my husband that isn’t the way to do something, he will say, “okay” and walk off, leaving me to do it. And trust me, that wasn’t a pleasant experience to deal with. So, I’ve tried more subtle things (like suggesting…lol) that he usually sees through to. You have no idea how many times and ways I’ve thought about getting my husband to do something my way…..it’s a complete shame and absolutely sinful. And that is why I was convicted about it.

Manipulative (adj.) – influencing or attempting to influence the behavior or emotions of others for one’s own purposes

Now, why would I be convicted? Well, basically, because it is manipulative. I know some women may disagree with me here, but anytime I try to use a covert way to get him to do something that I want, it is being manipulative. Any time I try to influence his actions or his feelings, it’s being manipulative. Guilt-tripping? It’s manipulative. Remaining contentious? It’s manipulative. Refusing to reconcile? It’s manipulative. Being unappeasable? It’s manipulative. It’s all a lot of manipulation. And with manipulation come other, not so subtle, sins of pride, ungratefulness, emotional/mental abuse, and being a lover of self.

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. – 2 Timothy 3:1-5

It’s hard to think that something so light and easy like being a little manipulative could have that much underlying sin, but if left unchecked, we slide right down that slippery slope. I thank God for convicting me of this sin, and I am thankful for the Spirit that will keep me in check as I remain humble and submitted to Him.

Yesterday, this popped up for me. My husband encouraged me to take some time to myself, and I mentioned all of the things I had to get done, including cooking dinner. He said not to worry about it because he could handle it. Getting ready to leave, he was getting the chicken together to go into the oven, and I cringed because he didn’t wash or rinse any of it. So I asked him about it, and he said, “Well, I’m cooking it at 400. Anything that’s on it is going to die.” I thought for a moment, said, “Okay. I’m going to leave now”, and of course he started laughing because he knows I was struggling at that moment. But it was a small victory for me. A small moment where I could thank God for answering my prayers of keeping me from sin and making me more aware before I fall into it. I’m sure that this will only add to keeping a peaceful home and marriage if I remain submitted to Him.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful… – 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

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