I was in full-blown rage cleaning mode when he returned from the yard and looked at me with genuine confusion asking why I was mad.
My eyes nearly bulged out of my head in disbelief. He was oblivious to what was so obvious to me– the 9 words he uttered before heading outside had cut my heart wide open exposing my fears, failures, disappointments, and insecurities.
I held up my hand like a stop sign, warning him not to come any closer to this ticking time bomb, along with a verbal warning declaring I did not want to talk in that moment. I continued my cleaning storm around the kitchen, bulldozing over my own marriage LESSONS #1-7 in record-breaking time. He was trying not to laugh aloud at his wife-turned-Hulk -meets-Tasmanian-Devil. His obliviousness to why I was upset in the first place only fueled my fire.
I refused eye contact, staring only at the ground, my thoughts returned to the mounting pile of verbal dirt I wanted to throw. But even in my rage, I knew I would have only seconds of satisfaction before we would both pay the price. Sin is expensive that way. It would bulldoze the hard-fought love, safety, and closeness in our relationship to the ground. But I wanted to throw dirt, because I was feeling hurt.
Hurting people would rather hurt people than simply feel hurt.
I was fairly confident God was on my side, but just in case, I submitted to marriage lesson 7 and offered up a silent prayer asking God how He felt about all of this. The answer was swift and undeniable: I care how you speak to him.
The truth pulled the plug in my hurting heart and the rage slowly drained making room for reason. We managed to laugh that night and I slept without smoke steaming from my ears. The next morning, my anger had subsided but my hurt had not. What he had said was still bothering me. I crafted a text with simple truth: "Your words last night words hurt me deeply. It felt like you were saying... That would be like if I were to say to you...".
His reply was quick and his sincerity undeniable: I am so sorry. He went on to clarify his intent and how now he understood why I felt the way I did. We came to a point of peace.
If you want to ruin Valentine's Day, or any other day for that matter, when you're hurt, throw dirt.
It may feel like the Holy Spirit is raining conviction on your parade to hurl blame, but here's the thing:
Heeding conviction rather than hurling condemnation will spare you from harmful consequences.
You have the freedom to choose what you say and how you say it, but you and I aren't free from experiencing the consequences. The source of Life made the rules, and not believing them in the moment doesn't exempt us from the consequences.
Throwing dirt will always make a bigger mess.
"No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear. And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of redemption. All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ." (Ephesians 4:29-32, HCSB)
To ruin the day, when you're hurt throw dirt.
But if you pause and pray before you say, the Holy Spirit has room to guard your mouth until Bruce Banner makes his way back. And then, ask for His help to talk about the hurt, rather than the dirt. Marriage in light of eternity changes how you handle the everyday. What God is accomplishing in your through your spouse is bigger than the one hurtful comment.
Marriage Lesson #11: Repeat #1-10 regularly. You might even save the day!
Only by grace my friends,
P.S. Wives, here's a great gift you, your husband and your marriage for Valentine's Day this year!