This morning before I had even made it out of bed my husband did something that irritated me. A few things should preface this: 1) I am easily irritated by many, many things (the Holy Spirit and I are working on this) and 2) my husband is almost a saint. And although I was not even awake enough to know what day of the week it was or if my husband was making noise in the kitchen because the house was on fire, my first conscious thought of the new morning God had been gracious enough to give me was that my husband was being too loud and I was irritated (I know, add it to my list of angelic qualities). But as I dragged my extremely tired rear end out of bed I heard a Whisper. It was that voice in my head that speaks truth to me, even when I’m tired and think I’m right. It is that quiet nudge that tells me what I already know but so easily forget. The Whisper said this: “Chris is a gift to you from Me.”
Inside my oldest daughter’s baby book I wrote many years ago, “Every good and perfect gift is from above…” (James 1:17). I also quote this verse when anything wonderful happens because I genuinely believe that everything good truly is a gift to us from God. Why then did I need my bedhead epiphany today reminding that about my husband? Why are things so hard to apply to him? I can give grace to my children and apologize to them over and over again. I can remember to praise them for the wonderful things they do and to spontaneously give them a big hug or a genuine, look them in the eye “I love you.” But my poor husband. Why is that? I love my husband and if you have ever heard me speak I have more than likely referenced the fact that my husband legitimately is one of the most patient, selfless people I have ever met and I do not deserve him. Why is it so hard to show my husband the love, forgiveness and grace that just oozes from my pores for my kids (well “ooze” is a bit exaggeratory for the teenagers at times but you get my point)? Well I don’t know “why” all those things, but I need to move to where transformation can occur, right? So “what now?”
What now? Well I need to keep praying for my husband every day for our marriage, his work, his faith (and all the other areas I learned to pray for him in The Power of Praying Wife (Stormie Omartian)). I need to keep asking God to help me be aware of my tone, my heart and my demeanor toward Chris. I need to ask God to continue to whisper Scripture like James 1:17 and then help me live it out (“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22). What now? I need to ask God to help me look more like Jesus to my husband (instead of making it my first priority to look like Jesus to the neighbor, my children or anyone else).
“Dear Lord, thank you for my husband. Thank you for gently whispering in to my sassy, self-centered, perfectionist little head this morning what a gift I have in Chris. Thank you that of all the people in the world you gave me this man. Thank you that almost 22 years ago you knew just the person I needed to keep me balanced, to keep me centered on you and that would complement my weaknesses so perfectly. God please keep whispering to me in the area of my marriage. I know I usually need a bullhorn but out of your love, grace and from your gentle spirit you always just whisper. Help me to not hear and beat myself up about the places I fall short as a wife, but help me to love Chris and show him love everyday if for no other reason, because we should treat gifts from you as you would want us to; with kindness, grace and unconditional love. Thank you so much for my amazing husband. There is no better gift I would want to spend my life with. In Your Name with thanksgiving, Amen.”