I am getting used to God speaking to me about my behavior when I think that I have been wronged personally. Maybe I am the only one who gets a righteous indignation about certain behaviors from others. That is where I have found myself today.
Moving is taxing on any relationship, I’m told. My husband and I have been fussing at each other, some days more than others, even in the weeks leading up to our closing. I am not sure how people deal with the uncertainty of real estate for a long period of time. We went from starting to look in March to closing two week late at the end of April. The fussing has been building over the past two weeks as we moved into our new home, with packing, moving, cleaning and unpacking.
While I know that it is not true, I have been telling myself that I’ve been doing most of the work. I found myself getting extremely agitated about it, especially when I would engage in a project only to have my husband need my “help.” Sometimes it was a legitimate two person thing, but much of the time it would be a “Hand me that.” or “Where is ___?” that could have been resolved without taking me from what I was doing.
Then I found myself focusing on his complaining. He didn’t like where I put certain things. He didn’t like that I was working on hanging stuff up while he was working on something that would take two of us at times; the rest of the time I was just standing there feeling useless. I only focused my attention on his negative comments.
Tied to the complaining was a specific type of complaining that tends to bother me the most. Complaining about, and while, doing something nice for someone else. If I needed his help, he would complain about how I was doing it or how much he hated it. In my opinion, the complaining completely nixes any positive feelings I have about the act of service; mind you, one of my top Love Languages is acts of service. I don’t believe that you can play a martyr before, after, or during an act of service – paid or volunteered.
So imagine my surprise, when I was talking to God about my complaints, and He pointed back to me. As I was covering the long list of things I had been doing while my husband worked on two projects and that my husband didn’t seem to appreciate my effort, He started speaking to me about my words. Maybe as you read my complaints, you saw my heart. I admit I didn’t in the midst of it. The very things that were driving me crazy with my husband, are the very same things I do. My righteous indignation was because I was complaining to God instead of to my husband until I finally let it out on him too.
I realized that while I was focusing on the speck in my husband, it was just a small reflection of the plank that was in my own eye. God was using him (As He often does) to bring about change in my life that is needed. I am grateful that God doesn’t respond to me as I did to my husband, but instead He allows me to get hyper focused on the behaviors of others that bother then me, and then shows me the speck I am focused on in them is a plank in my own eye.
In discernment I see, that it is so much easier to focus on what someone else is doing instead of what I am doing wrong. I expect my husband to cater to what I want to do at the moment, yet it can’t always be about me. Sure God wants to hear my thoughts, but I am sure He gets tired of my complaints about things. When I give in to what my husband wants to do, I can’t grip to God or my friends about it as if I am a martyr for one time out of ten doing what my husband would prefer to do. It’s a big plank to remove, but I see it now. Allowing God to reveal it to me and seeing His grace cover my short-comings while He works it out in me is where I am now.