I heard a sermon yesterday that changed my life. It was all about conflict resolution in marriage. One point that really stood out is to stop treating your spouse like your God. Wait, what? Yeah. Heavy statement, but there’s some good stuff in there. Let me elaborate…
You see, God is the only One that can truly satisfy all of my (and your) needs. I will speak in first person to make it a bit more personal. Only God can make me feel whole when something is missing. Only God can truly make me feel better on a sad day. Only God understands the depth of my struggles. And moreover, only God has the power to heal them. Only God knows exactly what I need and how and when to give it to me. For only God can be God.
We oftentimes look to our spouse to make us feel better on a sad day. We expect our spouse to know exactly how we feel and exactly how to “fix it” even when we don’t tell them how to. Not only is this unfair and annoying for our partner, it is also an impossible request to ask. At first, it may not seem like an unreasonable or impossible request. If you’re anything like me, you may think….but how can my partner not know what’s wrong with me? We’ve dated for umpteen years, he has to know me better than this. How can he not know that I need to be held right now? How can he not know that I need a compliment? Simply put, man is not God. Only God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving. He is the ultimate Healer, Comforter, Provider, and Counselor. He is perfect in His ways. That is God we’re speaking about. Not man or woman.
Here's an example for the guys. Let’s say you come home from work stressed out, feeling disrespected by your boss. You’re frustrated and need a little attention and praise from your spouse. She (wife) walks in the door right after you, takes her 10 minutes of “me time” and then comes downstairs. She asks how your day was and hurries to the kitchen to get dinner started. On the inside, you want her to probe more about exactly what happened in your day because today particularly SUCKED. You also want her to reassure you that you are the strong and smart man that she fell in love with. Unbeknownst to you, however, she fought a terrible bout of traffic on the way home and is now “hangry” and in a rush for dinner. Her attention goes to fixing the meal to make sure you both can eat A.S.A.P. She also knows that it is up to her to make this happen, since cooking isn’t really your thing.
Annoyed that she doesn’t notice the stressed look on your face, you choose to not openly communicate what happened at work today. Instead, you get frustrated with her for not “paying attention to her husband’s body language.” And then comes, “Can’t you see I’ve had a rough day?! You don’t even care to ask how your man’s day was! You worry more about the house than you do your own husband! What’s a guy gotta do to get some love around here?!”
Taking your frustration to God first would have been a good way to:
Take it to the ultimate Comforter and Healer
Release a lot of the tension to God i.e. leave your burden at the throne
Ask for discernment between your work frustrations and how you show up at home
Actively re-position your mind to be the partner (and perhaps) father that your family needs you to be.
I just want to point out that if both partners do this, each individual’s needs will be met because both partners are focused on being the best companion they can be. Please be clear that by no means does this message dismiss your spouse of the responsibility to be emotionally supportive and loving toward you. However, it does dismiss them from the unrealistic expectation of knowing exactly what’s going on with you, exactly what your internal desires are, and exactly how to make you feel better at any given moment.
Your spouse is a human being, not God. Remember, only God can be all-knowing and ever-present. Don’t cheat on God with your spouse. Bring all of your worries to Him first!
Ease up on your spouse a little and lean more on the Father. He will appreciate it and so will Bae :-)
Until next time...