Sunday, December 6, 2009

Give In, by Heidi Avery

“Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” Proverbs 13:10

You know the saying “opposites attract”, its true isn’t it? We see an opposite personality trait in someone else and we often appreciate their differences and sometimes it’s even what attracts us to them. They seem to have certain strengths where we are weak and we are drawn to them. That’s how it was when I met my husband.

Robert and I are complete opposites and when we met his passion is what I was attracted to the most. He was also very confident, strong and persistent. He knew where he was going and was determined to get there. I admired him.

Me on the other hand, I was insecure, lacking in self-confidence and I did not have a clear purpose in my life. I was most passionate about falling in love. Robert’s presence in my life offered me the love I was looking for and strength for my weaknesses.

Isn’t it funny how what initially attracts you to someone later drives you absolutely mad? His once confident and decisive personality quickly turned to controlling dictator. He’s not really a dictator, but I sure know how to turn him into one.

We’re just different, that’s all.

My husband wakes up early each day, opens the windows, smiles with the sunshine and positively considers his day. He checks his list, refines it, watches the clock and quickly gets busy with life. Efficiently and on a tight schedule he does life until he’s back to bed once again. Really, he doesn’t stop.

Me, I wake up when the kids wake me up, glare at the bright light coming from the open windows and get up… not grumpy mind you, just slowly. Then (after brushing my teeth) I do what ever thing I need to do first. There’s no list, it’s whatever “thing” has to be taken care of right then and there. Could be getting someone breakfast, could be getting them dressed, could be taking a shower, whatever… there’s no routine. I do this all day long until I am back in bed again too. It’s disorganized chaos at its best.

Look, I know my ways are not ideal. I admit I am not good at time management. I’ve tried strict schedules and I just simply can’t keep up with it and failure results. I tremble at the thought of a schedule because I just don’t want to set myself up for more failure. 37 years later I am sadly still low on self-confidence. A wise friend reminded me recently that this is just this time of life that I’m in with young children and she is so right. But, there is still room for change, for better habits to be made.

Robert likes life a certain way and well, he has not been getting it the way he likes and he’s patiently waited for me to change. I’ve been doing it my way without compromise. He has tried many times to offer me help in the form of advice and encouragement in hopes to motivate me and I’ve rejected him time after time after time. I would act offended and irritated that he even thought I needed his help. This has been my consistent attitude about many issues over the years. I’ve carried the thought that he thinks he’s perfect and I’m not. He’s just trying to change me into him and I don’t want to be him.

Last week I went into my quiet time to study scripture about marriage that I’ve read a hundred times or so and to pray for God to shed new light. I looked up husband in the back of my bible and it had this definition: married man; protector and provider; figurative of Christ.

That silent stinging conviction welled up inside of me… again. Figurative of Christ? I have not considered this man that God gave me as a husband to be a figurative of Christ.

In that moment I realized and quickly confessed to God that I’ve been prideful.

God provided me with a husband that covers my weakness with his strengths in a mighty way. Isn’t that just what God does… provides us strength for our weaknesses. Robert’s recommendations have always required me to get uncomfortable and reject myself… isn’t that also what Christ asks of us? Yes, He asks us to take up our cross daily and follow him… it’s uncomfortable.

So, the painful realization that all these years of me pride-fully rejecting Robert’s help has figuratively been me rejecting Christ’s help has affected me deeply. So, what to do?

I am being called to just "Give In”.

I’ve experienced first hand my sinful pride breeding relationship devouring quarrels in my marriage. So, I’m giving in to my husband’s years of advice for me. I have already sat and listened to his ideas to help me to get more organized and create better habits. Because I listened instead of rejecting him I was able to transform his ideas into realistic and attainable goals for me. We compromised and are moving at my pace and not his, but with his ideas as the foundation. It’s good and I fully expect God’s gift of wisdom to be waiting for me because of my obedience. How sad that I’ve missed those blessings up until now, but it’s alright…. better to be a slow learner than to not be teachable at all.

Father, forgive me for my stubborn and prideful attitude towards my husband. You’ve given him strengths that I do not posses and that is a gift to me. Help me to look at Robert as Christ himself, to respect him and allow him to be my help in areas where I am weak. Thank you that you give me the wisdom to “give in” and the heart to want to.

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