A couple weeks ago, God was working on me about the whole submission thing. I’m sure I haven’t learned everything yet that He wants to teach me so I know we’ll come back to that, but recently I’ve been challenged about living in peace, especially in my role as a wife. This verse has really been on my mind:
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)
I really want Big Man to enjoy being with me. To feel like I am his safe harbor from all the pressures out there in the world. To know that he can be 100% himself with me and trust that I love him. I really don’t want to be a nagging wife, a shrew, a woman who makes her husband’s life more difficult. So I’ve been trying to make sure I actively create a peaceful environment and disrupt that peace only when there is a legitimate reason.
Sometimes, peace is disrupted because Big Man and I have a disagreement that we need to resolve. In those cases, being intentional about having a good, productive discussion (where I am not being overly emotional) is the best way to restore the peace. But there are quite a few times when our peace is interrupted for a silly reason; when one of us gets upset or argumentative with little or no cause.
For me, the biggest thing I have been doing to avoid those silly arguments is to give Big Man the benefit of the doubt and not look for trouble. Especially when I am feeling more emotional, I can easily overreact to something he says or choose to be offended by even the most innocent of remarks. So recently, if I’m feeling upset by something Big Man says or does, I’ve been trying to take a minute and think through it to see if that feeling is warranted. And sometimes it is, and then Big Man will apologize and we can move on. But there are quite a few times when I’m upset because I choose to be offended instead of just giving him the benefit of the doubt and extending some grace.
This makes a lot of sense when I think logically. I love Big Man and chose to marry him, and I know he is a good man who follows Christ. So when he makes a comment that seems a little off, instead of just reacting emotionally and getting upset, I try to be logical first. Ok, I’m not a big fan of what Big Man just said. But I love him and know he is a good man. Which is more likely, that he said it to intentionally hurt me, or that it just came out wrong? And when I’m honest, I’ll admit that it is much more likely that it just came out wrong, not that Big Man was intentionally saying something to upset me.
I’m far from perfect in this area and I still react emotionally sometimes. But the Romans verse has been challenging to me, because it doesn’t leave a lot of room for me to just sit back and hope for a peaceful marriage. The “as far as it depends on you” part means I should be actively working towards peace. So this process of evaluating the circumstance and my emotional response is something I’m working on. And even though it isn’t easy for me, the results are more peace and less discord. Life is so much easier when I’m not creating trouble that isn’t there.
There’s a humorous side to this idea too. I saw this on Pinterest a couple weeks ago and loved it. I try to remember this when I’m getting super-emotional about something that isn’t really worth all the trouble.
Anyway, this is where I am in my wife-journey right now. I’m doing my best to live in peace and understanding with Big Man, as much as it depends on me. And that peace is so much nicer than petty little arguments!