A couple of weeks ago we had a disagreement that lasted all day and into the next afternoon.
I refer to this one as the 30-hour fight. We were not seeing eye to eye and there looked like little chance we were going to. Agreeing to disagree wasn’t agreeable. It started as such a small thing and escalated into a bigger thing, like arguments often do.
We had been visiting my family, and they knew we were having some friction. I felt like a loser considering I co-author a blog that encourages women to love their husbands, and here I was fighting with mine. My sister told me some nice things I could say to Scott to smooth things over, but it didn’t work. He could tell my nice words were laced with sarcasm. When it was time to head back home, I hugged my dad and sister goodbye, and got in the car. I could tell they were a little concerned that Scott and I were going to be in such close quarters.
I am not the kind of person who can just pretend to be okay when I feel upset. I can’t just sing along to the radio, read and have small talk. You know that filter between your brain and your mouth that keeps you from saying things that you shouldn’t? Ya, I don’t have that. And that saying, “Put it on the back burner?” Well, evidently I only have front burners.
I brought up our “issue,” hoping we could figure it out by the time we got to the outskirts of town. Two hours later we were still no closer to a resolution. I finally looked at him in tears and told him I couldn’t stand it. I didn’t like that we fought. I wondered aloud what was wrong with us. What he said turned around all of my negative feelings in a flash. “We are fighting, yes. Fighting for our marriage. And God is bringing us through,” he said.
That did it. I stopped feeling angry. I felt like we were on the same side again. That was the best thing he could have said. I looked at my husband’s profile as he drove. He looked so cute over there on the other side of the car. How was I so mad at him? I felt very sorry we had just wasted a whole day being petty. But I was proud of us for trying so hard. I felt glad we are both so stubborn.
As I sat there, I asked God what he wanted me to do. I didn’t want to get in these silly fights anymore, but sometimes they seemed to come out of nowhere. I wanted to use our time enjoying each other and building good memories, not bickering. I told God this: “When Scott is old and gray and hunched over, I want him to look back on our marriage and feel thankful for me. I want to be a good thing in his life. What can I do to bless him?”
Two words were heavily pressing into my heart. “Help him…”
Help him? Don’t I already do that? I do so much for our family. My first reaction was to feel defensive. I pictured myself chained to the kitchen sink, slowly scrubbing a cast iron skillet. Help him? I know being a helper is not a new concept. God created Eve to be a helper to Adam. I told myself what I knew about God as our Helper. He is right by our side, rescuing and assisting us in every aspect of our lives. It is actually a position of strength to be able to help someone. Of course, I will never be the perfect Helper that God is, because He is never grouchy, selfish or tired, but I can become a better helper by following His lead.
When I got home I looked up scripture that shows God as our Helper to see if I could gain some wisdom. I went right to my favorite passage of scripture.
Isaiah 41:10 says,” Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
If I reflect this trait of God to my husband, he can’t help but feel encouraged. It means protecting him. It’s giving him a safe place in this harsh world. It’s not just cooking, cleaning and batting my eyes at him. It’s working with him, being his companion, and comforting him when he is weary.
Marriage is the perfect reflection of God’s love for us. He promises to never leave us. He comforts, counsels, and protects. My perspective changed as I thought about being a helper to Scott. I even got a little excited thinking about what this really meant. The more I help him, the more he is able to lead our family and bless those around him. I help him so he feels rested and comforted. I help him because he is my friend.
Help me to lean on you as I become more of a helper to my husband. Show me practical ways I can make things easier on him as he walks out Your purpose for our family. Thank you for showing me how important this is in our marriage. Help me to protect, strengthen and comfort him as You do all of those things for me. Thank you for this high calling of companionship. I know blessing my husband in this way will not only give me satisfaction, but it will bring you glory. It will spill over into other’s lives, including our children, friends and family. I pray for other wives as they daily strive to be helpers to their husbands. I pray they find joy and friendship with their husbands in the process. Thank you for being the perfect Helper to us.
In Jesus’ Name,