We received a lot of response from our post last week about keeping it real. We heard that its helpful to hear about couples who have been married for decades and how they still have struggles. Not that you’re happy we struggle, but it’s encouraging to realize struggles are a part of all marriages–the good ones and the difficult ones. It is what makes us grow stronger as the years pass.
This morning we were having a normal Saturday routine. All was well, until Tom questioned why I was doing something the way I was doing it. Now this in itself wouldn’t have been difficult for me to hear, but it was the face he used in asking the question that stung. Suddenly I felt I couldn’t do anything right, so I said, “I don’t know how I’m going to make it to 80 years old if I’m already so bad at doing things now.”
Did I over react? Yes. Did Tom fail to choose his words wisely? Yes. I’m sure you’ve all been there if you’re honest with yourself. We aren’t perfect. No one is righteous, the Bible says, so why are we surprised when our spouse says something off the cuff like this and it stings?
Experience has taught us that conflict and harsh/insensitive words are normal in all marriages. What’s of most importance is what is said next!
Tom immediately apologized and held me saying he shouldn’t have said what he said. I forgave him. Then it was my turn to do the right thing, or should I say THINK the right thing. I was tempted to stew, to let my feelings have the final word. But I chose instead to resist those thoughts and let it go.
We’re back to a normal Saturday. I’m posting, Tom’s cleaning the back porch, and we’ve successfully navigated a conflict that years ago would have lasted days.
How quick are you to ask forgiveness when you know you’ve said something to hurt your spouse? How quick are you to forgive when you’ve been hurt? It’s only by the grace of God at work in our hearts that we can respond in the right way–giving and receiving grace in our time of need.