A couple nights ago, Edric and I were having a discussion about finances. It was really not a very big issue but I reacted to his irritation toward me so it became a big deal.
Edric holds me accountable for a monthly budget and he prefers that I settle my own credit card bills. He gives me the cash to manage that monthly budget so we know who is spending for what. He has his own budgets to manage. I only have to take care of groceries and household expenses (which is pretty straightforward).
There are occasions when there is something on my credit card bill that actually falls under his budget because I had to pay for gas, a dinner, or do an errand for Edric. When this happens Edric prefers that I inform him right away and at the right time (ie. as soon as I get my bill). This gives him time to put all those expenses onto his spreadsheet so he knows how much cash he has to set aside to pay for all the bills. He HATES being surprised by money matters because he likes to keep the percentages — 10% tithing, 20% savings etc…Well, go figure, he hosts a TV show called “On the Money.”
Well, I made the mistake of nagging him about a certain amount that was on my credit card bill the day I had to pay it. He did not like this. He came home from a tiring day and was ready to relax. I wanted him to help me settle the bill which he didn’t feel like doing. And he was also upset that he had a payable on the bill that wasn’t brought up to him earlier in the month. We argued about this for a bit because I felt like he was being unreasonably irritable about it. I felt that his irritation was not justifiable. It was a little overkill for the “offense.” But he was very frustrated with me for not following his system.
He did help me settle my bill but I felt hurt by the way he made it seem like I really messed up. I apologized for not following his request to talk to him about money matters at the right time. But I felt like crying and I felt so annoyed. I went to grab my running shoes so I could get out of the house, clear my head, and pray.
And pray I did! I was like, “Lord! Can you please bop Edric on the head and speak to him? I feel so hurt. I am sorry for being disrespectful and annoyed at him, but please help him to realize that he shouldn’t over react and get irritated about something so petty. Can you please tell him to exercise a little more spiritual maturity. And will you please help me to improve and be a better wife because I feel so upset and angry right now.” I think I repeated the same thing over and over again over my 4 kilometer run. (And I threw in some complaining, too.)
When I got home, Edric was asleep (or so I thought. He told me the next day he stayed up to wait for me because he was worried then pretended to be asleep.) But by this time, I had turned over the “issue” between us to the Lord so I was not anticipating that we would discuss it again. I went to sleep in peace.
The next day, Edric and I talked.Things seemed better and we decided that we needed a date night. Edric had work and his taping at the studio so we were going to go out after that. Sometime in the afternoon, however, he called to tell me that he had a migraine. He had not had one in years! He even had a migraine in the middle of his show! He couldn’t see the TelePrompTer because lights were flashing before him (his warning sign for a migraine attack). So instead of going out as planned, he came straight home.
Date night was cancelled but I got something way better. Edric came home and acted VERY sweet and VERY apologetic about his temper and anger the night before. In fact, he said God must have given him the migraine to remind him that there are things that are way more important than the petty discussion we had. He also told me that he valued me and appreciated me, and that he loved me so much. Hello, prayer power! Thank you, Lord! I took care of him so he could get over his migraine and I also asked for his forgiveness again. All was restored.
I have come across similar situations in marriage many many times. Edric and I will have issues that make us both frustrated with one another. Yet one thing has worked consistently to restore, repair, and heal our relationship…PRAYER. Prayer — also known as crying out to the Lord, being honest before God, appealing to our Heavenly Father, communicating our deepest desires and longings, seeking God’s will and his person. God tells us, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NASB)
“Come to me you who are upset and troubled by your husband, and I will give you rest…and I will give your husband a migraine…”
Well, God did not say that, but he did remind me that prayer always works better than my own efforts to change my husband. And when I really talk to God, I realize I cant stay the same person. I have to change and improve. In the meantime, he can give my husband a migraine if necessary, to speak to him, too.
God’s purposes are much better and much nobler than vengeance (unlike me. he he). He seeks to make us more like himself, and he is committed to change and transform us for the better. Sometimes he uses our spouses, sometimes he uses other people, and sometimes he uses circumstances. Whichever it is, he promises to give us rest if we cooperate with him, if we take his yoke and learn from him.