Originally published Monday, 09 February 2015.
I am more in love with my husband then ever. I admire his strength, his intelligence and his passion. I admire his intellect, his words and his heart. He challenges me to be greater than myself, stronger than my weaknesses and courageous when I feel scared. He is my all-in-all.
And, that's my problem.
You see, day’s come where everything in my husband's life doesn't go as planned. There are unforeseen days when unexpected storms roll through.
Days when he needs space. When he needs to process. When he needs to think. When he needs direction.
And, it's these days - the days of waiting, uncertainty, or struggle - when I want to fix things for him. I want to work things out. I want to problem solve.
I put on my captain's hat, stand up against the swirling winds and breathe in the air of his every emotion - then, I set a course. Clearly, I feel I command his destiny; I can direct his future.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Phil. 2:3-4)
I wrongly think I can mend his feelings.
Then, I feel bad, because he feels bad. I feel worried, because he feels worried. I feel impatient because he feels impatient. I feel whatever he is feeling and then I feel I have to find a way to throw the feelings overboard. Why? Because they are uncomfortable.
- Rescue him
- Give advice
- Explain my fears
- Fix him
- Downplay the situation
- Amplify the predicament
- Get defensive
- Cut him off mid-sentence
- Develop an action plan
- Explain what he did wrong so he can fix it
- Get angry
You can guess how this goes over.
While I try to help him set sail, I miserably fail.
The only thing I succeed in doing is being unproductive and arrogant.
Why do I think I can "fix him"?
Who am I to think I can tie all his ropes up into perfect little knots?
Who am I to think that I am the anchor of his life?
If I, at best, do a wonderful job of listening and reflecting -
even then, I still can't provide him a refuge, a calm sea, or a way out of the storm.
I have no control over that.
If I, unwittingly, allow the sum of all his emotions to blow right into me,
I will never have the capability to minister to him as God has designed me to.
If I am one being tossed from left to right and back again,
how can I help him stand straight?
It's impossible. Because we are in the same sinful condition. Sure we are one flesh (Gen. 2:24), but God never said to be one emotion.
Because God knows, if we were, we couldn't fully love, serve, equip, help and submit to God - or each other.
How can you take care of another when you lay injured, immobile and incapacitated yourself?
Instead, God calls us to stay calm, stay collected and to be a lighthouse on a dark night. He calls us to shine so bright that we light the night. He calls us to hold ourselves to his righteous standard (not take on the other's feelings) - and to trust him with the rest.
Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. (Ephesians 5:2)
It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. (Daniel 2:22)
The Lord never intended for us to be captains of the sea, because He is the one who sees.
He sees in darkness.
He sees the hidden barriers.
He sees the obstacles that stand before us.
He sees what needs to happen.
He sees my husband's future.
God comes with a perfect course redirect - and it is much better than my not-so-well-laid-plan.
I don't want to steal God's glory, and make it about my story.
If I can wait, and rest, I can trust God will take care of the rest.
If I can abide in him, by faith, won't God be faithful?
It is in this place of faith where we can stop being captains of distraction - and move towards compassion.
It is in the land of trust, where God helps us to act the right way, instead of going the wrong way.
In this, he brings us on a voyage of authenticity, as we trust him to be who we are, no matter how rocky the boat my get.
And, what we get at the end of the day, is love.
We get a pure love that doesn't manipulate, doesn't demand - and that is effective.
God loves love. It is the basis of everything.
I have this sneaky feeling that if I can just stay in this place - of love - God will take care of the rest. I have a feeling that it's not about how you fix your spouse, but it's about how you love them.
Because only One who can truly fix - is God. It's not me, my words or my actions. It's not my ideas.
In fact, perhaps God has plans to do the real fixing - in me.
So, I will open my arms up and say, "Thy will be done." I will trust him until the day of completion in Christ Jesus.
"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." (Phil. 1:6)