Friday, September 07, 2012

The Tale of a Loving Wife

After giving birth to our first-born, I sometimes struggle being a loving wife to my husband. Don’t get me wrong I love my husband but there are times I find it hard to be lovey dovey to him simply because I tend to prioritize Miya first before him. We’ve been married for more than a year and a half when we found out we’re pregnant. We actually really waited after a year before trying to have a baby. We wanted to enjoy the honeymoon stage for a long time. We enjoyed those 18 months just us two. When we found out we were pregnant, we were overjoyed. I was ready to become a mother. And a mother I became when our first child was born. I doted on her, I took care of her. There were times when I neglected my duties to my husband. I get irritated when I have to take care of him when I need to take of our baby. I always have to remind myself that I’m a wife first, a mother second.

I was reminded of my wifely duties by Joy’s blog – Teach with Joy. Read about her first. I don't know her personally. I've commented on her blog only once. But when I discovered her blog, I've immediately included it on my blogroll. Not only does she blog about homeschooling her kids, she also shares marriage advises. In her post entitled “The Canned Good of Disobedience” I thought she wrote that post specifically for me, she wrote:

“He created men to be spiritual leaders and he called them to love, protect, and provide for their families. Yet so many men fall short of this standard because they don’t know God and what his Word has to say about their role, or they do know but they are selfish (like we are, too!). Our reflex response as women is to look out for ourselves or take charge when we feel like our sense of security is threatened. When we feel like the men are not stepping up, or they can’t be trusted, we go into self-preservation mode. We reverse the roles and “wear the pants” if necessary just to make sure that our men make the right decisions or that we don’t end up at the losing end of a relationship or situation.

I know this because I was like this at the beginning of my marriage. Every time I distrusted Edric’s decision making capacity, I contradicted, challenged, and manipulated him to do things my way. Well, Edric has a pretty strong personality so we would butt heads instead. And this led to a lot of conflict. What changed?”

And then she wrote:

"I surrendered my marriage to the Lord and my rights (of course, I’m still a work in progress!). The verse on submission says this, “Wives, submit to your husbands AS UNTO THE LORD.” (Ephesians 5:22) Ultimately, I wasn’t disobeying my husband when I was unsubmissive, I was disobeying God. And if I was submissive, I was submitting as unto the Lord – for the Lord, because of the Lord, trusting in the Lord to look out for me.

Submission is a heart issue. God knows our hearts. I can be submissive on the outside but negative and begrudging on the inside. That doesn’t count. At the end of the day, the desire to submit reveals whether I trust God completely or not. If I focus on my husband, I may not always feel like submitting to him. I can be tempted to think, he is not doing his God-given role so why should I fulfill my God-given role? I will submit when he is deserving of my submission! But if look to God and do it for Him, then it liberates me. My heart is at peace because I am right with God. God will deal with my husband.

The solution has been to do my part and then pray for Edric. By God’s grace, Edric is a wise man and he loves God. But still, there are instances when we don’t agree on issues. So this is when I pray, “Lord, please speak to Edric. If he is wrong, then please change his heart, but if I am wrong then please change my heart.”"

You see I’m like that, I sometimes manipulate my husband to do what I want when I think he’s not making the right decision. After reading this post, I started really praying for my husband, every time we have a disagreement. I pray for the grace to be respectful towards my husbands decisions. I pray that he will make the right decision for us, his family. And like Joy, I started praying, "Lord, please speak to Joema. If he is wrong, then please change his hear, but if I am wrong then please change my heart.

In her post entitled, "Stone Throwing: The Ugly Sport of Married People" she wrote:

“My prayer is that I will be a grace-filled wife, a true helpmate to my husband who desires to meet his needs with joy. Marriage should be a happy place without room for the hurtfulness of judgmentalism. I’ve got to put my stones away. My mom always says, “lower expectation, and raise appreciation” toward your spouse. I have to keep remembering that and applying it because I am prone to think negatively of my husband when I hold him to a set of expectations. Appreciation of him, on the other hand, compels and motivates me to be a better wife. And that’s what I want to be.” 

When I became a mother during the first few months, it was always Miya Miya Miya. When my husband needed something from me, I always thought, "Why don’t you get it yourself, don’t you see I’m taking care of our child?” I hated it that I had to do both my mother and wife duties – I was getting exhausted. Our usual fight is when I don’t get to go home early because he has to finish some work. You see, we go home together (he drives the car). So when he goes off work late, I had to wait for him. And during the first few months after I returned to work, I always fought with him because I wanted to be home early to be with our daughter. This is a major fight between us, I’ll spend days not talking to him because of this especially when he doesn't even say he's sorry. I blame him for us not coming home early. I blame him all the time. Of course, that was me being petty. Obviously, I was wrong. When I married my husband, I vowed to be his partner, to take care of him and our children, to love him and to submit to him. These days when he has to get off work late, I don't nag him anymore why we can't go home yet. Instead, I pray for patience to wait for him. I just call our daughter over the phone to while away the time that I have to wait for him. You know what it works,   we don't end up arguing on the ride home and he's even says he's sorry he had to finish off some work and come home late. The more I pray for him and for myself, the more I see him transform. Of course, I still sometimes have lapses but I remind myself not to get angry so easily and just pray. It's hard but who says everything is easy?

Truth be told, this is a hard thing for me to blog about our married life. But I wanted to share with you how Joy’s blog helped me in being reminded how it is to be a loving wife. In case some you are going through the same thing, why don’t you go on to her blog and read her posts?

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