Have you ever observed a person who is caught up in a negative or stressful situation and allows the enemy to completely navigate them into the pit deeper and deeper? We experienced such an incident recently.
We had a guest who expected help from us. We had no idea of what that expectation fully was. There was a lack of communication which resulted in our help not being enough. Not only that, she dropped the ball on something that she thought we were going to do. Some pretty hostile attitudes from her and words were said which really hurt me. The choice was there. I could either step away and choose to let her deal with it or step up to help through it.
Putting the previous days aside, I managed to get everything that needed now to be done but her attitude was still flaming. She was panicked and was not being careful at all with her words. There was a room full of people and everyone sat in silence; but you could cut the tension in the air with scissors.
Trying to lighten the atmosphere and bring calm to her spirit I began to talk about the wonderful week we had. But, NOTHING was working. Finally, I said that she was hurting my feelings and she said, “Good, you hurt my feelings.” I asked, “How did I hurt your feelings?” She began to repeat the blame-game telling me of how I hadn’t done “XYZ”.
Now, I fully know that her spirit was completely taken aback from all of the stress. The situation was truly stressful. I told her that I sure wished I would have understood better and that none of this would have happened. I also identified with her about how I too would have been very stressed out. But the thing that really stood out to me was the choice for her to change her attitude. Oh, the enemy is soooo good at getting our eyes on ourselves and our situation. At any moment, she could have made the choice to take a step back and take on a different mind-set; even though it is so very hard to do in the midst of this type of situation.
Everyone pays the price around us when we get into a situation like this. Tears welled up in my eyes when we she left. A wife often feels wounded from her husband when he chooses not to lay down his life in exchange for Christ’s ways. So many similar circumstances like blame, lack of communication, lack of personal responsibility (ownership/leadership), uncontrolled tongue, dwelling on what should have happened and not noticing what effect it is having on others, self-control, ungratefulness for what was done; to name just a few.
Sometimes, we do actually notice how we are behaving and pray to God to help us. And yes, verses like Matthew 21:22 say, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask in prayer.” But there is a huge part that WE must do. In 1 Corinthians, Paul shares, “But I chastise my body and bring it into servitude, lest by any means, having preached to others, I myself may become disapproved.” The world does things differently. We have been given a free gift called Salvation; however, it was not free to Christ. It cost Him something. Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
And He did not leave us empty handed! He fully equipped us, just as it says in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” It is our responsibility to continue to work out our Salvation every single moment. Allow me to encourage you to sit down as a couple, or even as a family if that is applicable, and study Philippians 2:1-18. If you are brave, ask your spouse to point out a few of the things that she sees that you are doing that you could change your attitude and mind-set in. How exciting to be able to have help from your helpmeet in showing you even more how to be like Christ! Being Christlike is not for the faint-hearted!! If you do take up this challenge, we would love to receive an email back sharing what you have learned.