Tuesday, April 12, 2011

To The Wives (Part I)- THROWING STONES

In MEET THE HOTTIE, I introduced you to the love of my life- my best friend.  I told you all about how we met and fell in love.  Then, doing things in a backward manner, we became pregnant and immediately got married.  And then the fun began.  We had been married about two months and Kyle (The Hottie) decided that he wanted IHOP for dinner so we dressed and quickly were on our way.  Now, being my father's daughter and somewhat of a control freak, I decided to drive. 

On the way there Kyle says to me (several times....) "Honey, we really should go the other way.  It's much faster."  To which I calmly replied "No, it's okay.  I am already going this way.  We will be fine going this way and next time we can try your way."  This interaction repeated itself about 6 times before I realized he was not getting the point, nor was he going to let it go.  He kept insisting.  So, hormones raging, I busted a U turn, flipped my husband off (because....?) and screamed at him for nagging me like a toddler.  I gave in and went his way... kicking and screaming (ironically, also like a toddler).  We made our way inside IHOP and to our table where I buried my head in my hands and started crying...  hysterically.  I looked up because I expected him to either (a) be fuming across the table or (b) comfort his pregnant, crying wife.  What did I see what I looked up?  Laughter.  The man was laughing at me while I was crying.  Seriously. 

Looking back, we both laugh about it now.  We have been together for nine years (during which, four of those years I was hormonal and pregnant) so he has learned a thing or two. But he isn't the only one who has learned a thing or two.  I remember that night like it was yesterday because it was my first big pregnant meltdown, but also because it was the first time I realized what a prideful woman I can be.  When we were dating, I was on my best behavior.  I didn't want to run him off so when he upset me (for the most part), I didn't mention it.  I guess something changed after we said our vows because for that poor schmuck, all bets were off. 

After that night, I felt empowered.  I felt validated.  I felt... larger (seriously- HUGE omelet for dinner).  I digress.  Unleashing all of those months of pent up frustration, combined with the influx of hormones made me feel like a new woman- a woman who was in control- FINALLY!  So whenever he would do something to upset me, I would tell him, point blank and often without respect.  I was sarcastic and rude.  I was impatient.  I was very mean and controlling.  Let me just say- looking back, I often wonder why I didn't get a broom to ride on for our first few anniversaries.  Yes, it really was THAT bad.

I would disrespect him in front of his peers and friends.  I would talk down to him while he was working... In hindsight, I often wonder why he even stayed.  I know in Genesis 3:16 (NLT) it says "And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you."  Wow did He ever hit that nail on the head!  I wanted to control Kyle.  In many ways, I did- either by degrading him or by manipulating him with my tears and emotions. I even withheld sex from him when I didn't get my way.  I thought this would make him want to give me what I wanted, but it only hurt him more.  Rather than being married to the woman of his dreams, he was stuck with the villain from his nightmares. 

So what changed?  I mean... I'm not like this now, am I?  Honestly, the temptation is still there and probably always will be (thankyouverymuch, Eve), but thanks to Kyle's boss and a woman with a heart for mentoring, I have come to learn my place in our marriage and am on the road to becoming the wife God designed me to be.  What did they say or do that changed me so much?  First there was Kyle's boss (who is a former preacher).  He came over to our house one night after work and spoke with Kyle for about an hour inside the house before asking me to join them. 

When I came inside, he said to me the words that would forever change my life (and my marriage).  He said, "Christi, I've heard the way you talk to Kyle and I've seen the way you treat him.  I came to tell you that you are out of line and have lost your place in this marriage.  Christi, when God puts two people together, He gives the wife stones.  Now you can do one of two things with those stones (your words)- you can either throw them and watch as over time your husband will turn into a pile of rubble emotionally.  Or you can lay them and see that over time God has taken those words, those stones, and built a tower of a man.  So, Christi, let me ask you- do you want to lay stones, or do you want to throw them?  It's your choice."  And now wives, I must ask you the same thing:  Do you want to lay stones, or do you want to throw them? 

I know your husband isn't perfect.  No man is (even the hottie, in all of his splendor).  I know that some of your husbands are struggling with the unimaginable.  Some are cowards (in your eyes).  Some are controlling and/ or abusive.  But God put you in that marriage for a reason.  He knew thousands of years ago, before you were ever born that you would CHOOSE to marry that man.  So let me ask you- why do you think you are there?  Do you believe God put you in that place so you could control him and always feel good about yourself?  Or do you think maybe God had a different plan?  Do you think it's possible that God put you in your marriage, knowing you would struggle, so that (a) God would be the one you depended on when your own strength ran out, and (b) God could change that man through your presence in his life?  Think about it.  I want to challenge you this week to consider the words as they come out of your mouth.  Think of them as stones...  Will you lay them, my friend, or will you throw them?


1 comment:

Carol Jones said...

Girl trust me, I have thrown way more than my share of stones in my 30 years of marriage. In fact, if I'd had this advice years earlier, my husband would probably be a different man.

Thanks for keeping it real.