I know better. Really, I do. I know what God's Word says. And after nearly 14 years of marriage, I know better.
When writing the "Nightcrawlers" post the other day, I debated whether to share personal information. It is challenging at times to know how much is too much to share. I want to be transparent. I want the walls of my life to be glass so you can see into my soul. I am not perfected and will not be until Jesus returns. I pray you will allow me to make mistakes in front of you and give me grace as we walk this walk together. I trust the Lord will tell me how much to share and what not to share. So, I am proceeding with permission from the Lord and my wonderful spouse.
I know what you are thinking about that cute sweet couple up at the top of this page They look perfect. Well, we are. ; ) Ahem...ok, we are not. Last week, we were far from perfection.
I think it started Monday night last week.
Don't ask how it started. I couldn't tell you. I wasn't even really angry at first, just a smidge irritated. I don't remember why (which is good--Love doesn't keep a record of wrongs).
I went upstairs to go to bed. I crawled in bed with my back to his side of the bed, completely shutting myself off. "I really should talk to him. Don't go to bed angry, you know better." I justified,"But, I'm really not angry, it will be fine. I don't feel like talking to him. We can talk tomorrow."
Tuesday night, the same thing happened over something similar and trivial, only this time, it was multiplied since the night before was still unresolved.
By Wednesday night, I was exponentially angry from three nights in a row of unresolved issues. Again, I went upstairs and shut myself off. Chris knew something was up and he thought it best to stay clear of me, which in turn caused me to be angrier. Talk about one vicious, awful, destructive cycle.
"Sue, you know better. Stop this. Go talk to him.", the Holy Spirit gently nudged. My reply to the Holy Spirit: "He should realize something is wrong and come talk to me, why do I have to be the one."
I know....very mature. (Remember, I'm not perfected yet, but God hasn't given up on me, so I hope you won't...Grace, please, grace.)
By Thursday night I had decided that I was going to talk to him. I was going to tell him what he had been doing wrong all week. It seemed like a good idea....at the time. Ok, God, I'm going to talk to him.
Let's just say that didn't go as planned. Again, I turned my back to his side of the bed and went to sleep. "It is ok, I'm not really angry, just annoyed. We can talk tomorrow."
How long was this going to continue? I was miserable. Lord, help me. Help us. So, I decided what we needed was a date night. A date night would take care of everything. Get away for an evening. Reconnect. I arranged a babysitter. Texted Chris. All set for a wonderful evening.
Well, to make a long story short, date night did not exactly go as planned. Dinner was....well,.....awkward. We always request a table away from the noisy kitchen. However, this night a noisy kitchen would have been welcomed over bitter silence seasoned with a couple of flare ups from pent up frustration all week. We spent most of dinner in silence doing our best to keep our eye gaze strictly focused on our plates of Italian cuisine.
We left the tree adorned Italian restaurant barely uttering a word. The agonizing silence continued in the car. This has to be the worst date night ever!
In my husband's wisdom and Holy Spirit's leading, he didn't take me home. He parked in a parking lot of a church near our home. In that parking lot, we sat, talked and talked and cried (well, I cried, he doesn't cry) and talked some more.
Openness. Forgiveness. Healing. Comfort. Hope. God began to break down the layers of anger built by night after night of avoidance and unresolved conflict. God healed our hearts and drew us to Him. We needed Him. We needed the Cross. All was resolved. We prayed together. PRAYER, so powerful...so pertinent.
In retrospect, not only did we avoid each other that week and avoid resolving issues, we ignored the Holy Spirit. I am so sorry, Holy Spirit. I am sure it grieved Him. We neglected the Word of God. We gave the enemy an opportunity, and boy, did he take advantage of it!
And don't sin by letting anger control you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the devil. Ephesian 4: 26 (NLT)
What would normally had taken just a conversation to resolve (most of the issue was from a misunderstanding, imagine that!), took about 3 1/2 hours and $28 for a babysitter.
And the thing is...I knew better.
My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to get angry; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God...But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:19-20,22 (Emphasis added)
We can know the Word of God, but we have to do the Word of God to live victoriously in Him. It isn't enough to just know better. I pray my life would glorify you. (and I pray for my readers to also give me grace. ) ; )