Has your spouse ever hurt your feelings? My husband has. I feel like a big, fat whiner writing those words but he did, and what started off as something innocent escalated into a major fight.
I had been working on my new website when unexpectedly, Chuck came home at lunch time to drop something off. Feeling proud about my work I was excited and wanted to show it to him. Innocent enough, right?
Well, I did the one thing he’d always asked me not to do – I yelled for him while he was in another room. Had I gotten up from my desk and walked into the living room, I would’ve seen him opening his box of Bojangles chicken. But instead, I yelled for him to come to me which caused him to react abruptly.
Huffing into the office with a chicken leg in hand, he grumbled, “What?”
“I want to show you my new website,” I said. But of course right at that moment my computer decided not to cooperate and I couldn’t pull the website up. I felt his hot breath on the back of my neck and it wasn’t’ in the romantic way I like either. My fingers flew over the keyboard as I silently prayed for a miracle to open the website quickly.
Finally, the website came to life and I proudly turned my head and met his cold stare. He didn’t say a word and walked back to the living room. I sat there astonished as tears stung the back of my eyes. He didn’t utter a word!
I went into the kitchen and started slamming things around in the hopes he would realize by my banging that he hurt my feelings and needed to apologize. But that didn’t work so I decided to tell him by yelling at him as he entered the kitchen, “You hurt my feelings!”
“Excuse me? How?” he snapped back.
“You didn’t comment on my website– not a ‘that’s nice’ or good job honey’ or ‘I hate it’. You said zilch, notta, nothing.” My voice grew louder with each word and my hands flew around in a fury. “Why do you have to be so rude and hateful sometimes?” I asked.
Immediately, his response was to attack back with daggers in hand. He said if I would’ve waiting until that evening when he got home, he would’ve given me his undivided attention but instead I had to be my normal presumptuous self and want what I wanted when I wanted it. He was only home for a few minutes and wanted to inhale his lunch before going back to work. From now on he’d tell me everything looked horrible so I would be happy.
Exasperated, I grabbed my purse and keys and left to pick up my mother-in-law for her doctor’s appointment. But not before slamming the front door so hard the windows in reverberation.
Furious I vowed to not talk to him until he apologized. That’s when I heard God tell me I needed to show him forgiveness first.
Did God not witness what just happened? Did He not see how my husband just walked all over my feelings? And He wanted me to say I was sorry?
I stewed for a while and even complained to my mother-in-law about how selfish her son was and how he should make things right with me. But eventually, I conceded to God’s gentle nudging. As I sat in the doctor’s office, I sent Chuck a text – I’m sorry and I love you. He replied the same.
“There I did it,” I mumbled to God under my breath. But I didn’t forgive or let it go.
That night I was griped with a terrible migraine. I decided to mediate to get rid of it. During the mediation God revealed my selfishness and how I set both Chuck and me up to fail. I knew Chuck didn’t like for me to call for him from another room. If I had gotten up from my desk and walked into the living room I would’ve seen him sitting down to eat lunch and I probably would’ve waiting for a better time to ask him to look at my website–argument and hurt feelings avoided. But instead, I disrespected my husband which caused him to react unkindly towards me. Granted he could’ve been more loving but I could’ve been too.
Learning to love my husband the way he needs to be loved, and the way God intended, is a daily work in progress. Thankfully, God is patient, loving and gentle in his ways of rebuke. He calmly told me I needed to learn to respect my husband and his requests. In return, I will get the love and compassion I need from him.
Lord, thank you for opening my eyes to how to love my husband by showing respect for his time and his requests.