On this day of love, I will candidly share something I hope will help those of you who like me, love your husband, but struggle to like his wife.
Although I love Jesus and speak and write about love, I can’t seem to control my tone when I talk to my husband. Yes, I also struggle with how I talk to my kids (I just apologized to Faithe this morning for barking at her), but it’s uglier and more consistent and pervasive toward Chris.
Since we’ve been married for twenty-five years and because Chris has shared with me how difficult and hurtful it is to be talked to in the condescending way I too often do to him, I’m grossly aware of my problem. I feel badly about it, pray about it literally daily and apologize repeatedly.
But, I can’t seem to change.
Last week we again had multiple moments of intense fellowship about my tone. As tired as Chris must get listening to me talk to him like he’s five, I get tired of it being my default. I get tired of apologizing. I get tired of being the Jesus-lady who can’t seem to act very Jesus-y to the person I love most.
Last weekend however, God gave me a few epiphanies. First, I heard this Spirit inspired question, “Would you ever talk to Kim like that?” Would I talk to my best friend, even if she was annoying me or doing something wrong, like I talk to Chris so easily and quickly? Shortly after having that thought Chris said to me (unaware of my epiphany), “I just want you to talk to me like you talk to your friends.” For whatever reason, that’s stuck with me.
The other Spirit inspired thought was this. It’s taken me forty-seven years to get this way. I keep beating myself up for being unable to change, but God reminded me to give myself the grace and forgiveness He already has. He reminded me regardless of how tired I am of being a jerk and apologizing for being a jerk, He loves me wildly. He reminded me when I most needed it that the moment I stop feeling loved or worthy of love and forgiveness, is the moment I quit trying to the be the wife I want to be.
The Author of love cares. He cares about the places we want to look differently but can’t and he cares about the people we hurt in the process. He cares by speaking to us when we want to give up. He cares by subtly whispering exactly what we need when we need it and in doing so reminds us He loves us,
even when we are struggling to like ourselves.
When we are continually reminded of His unconditional love, it becomes difficult to give up. If we quit, we will never change. But if we remain in His love, we can hold onto the hope we will slowly and by the grace of God, begin to look more like Him.