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Stand up when I can't...

I'm going to try to be posting more. Not because I have anything super tremendous to say, but because I need to write. I can't promise that my thoughts will be meaningful or even slightly worth reading - but writing I must. So, I will try to blah-blah-blah on a more regular basis. That's what I'm saying. I'll just be throwing out my thoughts of that day which could range from the mundane to, hopefully, the more worthwhile. Although, I'm honestly seeing a lot of meaningful in the mundane. I suppose I shouldn't discount the simple.

I read today that the "two pillars of love are patience and kindness". And at first, I was like, "That's nice. Makes sense." It made more sense as I was cleaning the windows in the master bathroom, when I recalled the start of the "Love Chapter": "Love is patient and love is kind." Looks like maybe there's something to that.

Sometimes I can be a very impatient, short-tempered person. I know, you'd never guess, right?! :P But I was thinking how, in terms of loving my husband, that I say I love him (and of course I do) but how my impatience negates that. If I'm not being patient, am I really loving? If I'm being unkind, am I really loving? I know you can always find ways to justify the angst and the annoyed feelings. I'm not saying sometimes the frustration isn't warranted. No one is perfect. And I think we know that, but I think our expectations (and our reaction to those expectations) say something completely different.

It's easy to say, "Oh, I know my husband is a sinner, too!" but then when you expect him to read your mind or to never be frustrated with you or the babies - that's unrealistic. And it's unfair, because surely you've been frustrated with your spouse and the kids, too, at one time or another. We are all human and we are all sinners. That doesn't excuse sin or maltreatment. I'm simply talking just day-to-day kindness towards one another. Consideration. Patience.

The Bible instructs men to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands. I think most everyone gets why that makes sense. Women crave that romance and emotionalism, typically, a little more then men. But a man wants respect. He wants to be courageous. He wants to provide for his family. Sometimes I think we get that big picture, but we kind of space when it comes to all the things that add up to fulfilling those commands.

Can a wife really be showing her husband respect if she is being unkind to him? If she is sharp and snarky when responding to him, is that honor? Is it love for a wife if a husband is selfish or too busy even after the work day has ended to lend a hand to either hold a baby or rub a shoulder?

We're pretty familiar with "treat others the way you want to be treated" or "consider your neighbor as yourself"... but what about the person we married? Sometimes I think we're more thoughtful and sweeter with our friends or even strangers than we are our spouses or our parents or siblings. It's easy to be all light and giving when it's someone you don't know or don't live with. Luke 6:32 reads: "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?..."

This morning I emailed my husband at work and asked him if there was a job around the house that he felt needed to be taken care of that maybe I was overlooking. This was not an easy thing for me to ask and I will admit to having a little battle with my pride as I tapped out that little message. I was thinking, "I'm home all day with the baby. I do the best I can (most days). Do I really need him telling me what should or should not be my focus? Does he have dried carrots and God knows what else dried to his shirt?"

But I asked anyway. I swallowed my pride and asked, because it is important to me to be kind to my husband. If the way spouses treat one another can affect their prayers (I Peter 3:7), then it sounds to me like it's a pretty big deal and pretty darn important that I consider my husband's perspective. Even and maybe especially when it comes to home things - which I often feel is my domain and mine to control. I told you it was a pride issue. :P

Aaron mentioned cleaning the windows, which is something we've talked about doing, but just haven't gotten around to. I told him I was considering doing the windows and since that was the only thing he could think of, I hopped to it (thankfully the baby was sleeping!) And I was very, very happy in my heart to do this task. Not only are my windows clean and shiny, but my husband feels considered and loved because this is his home, too and sometimes maybe he wants some help. Maybe he wants me to think of the things that matter to him - like clean windows - moreso than the things that matter to me (like taking more pictures of our son than I will ever be able to scrapbook).

So, today I have taken it upon myself to be patient with my husband and kind to him... and also genuinely thoughtful to those around me; to curb my impatience and reign in my shortcomings (it's going to take a lot of reigning in.) Exhibit some self-control. Look outside the box, away from the mirror, focus on what is in front of me, instead of looking inward.

So, maybe take a break today and tell yourself, "It's not all about me." and see where that leads... (and come back here and share your story!)

"See that no one repays another
with evil for evil,
but always seek after
that which is good
for one another."

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:15


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