Sometimes, when Edric and I are about to minister through speaking, we come under fire. We have these irrational discussions that lead to conflict, causing division between us.
Important question:How can we possibly bless people and honor God when our hearts are not aligned, not one in Christ’s love?
Saturday morning, on our way to speak at a road show for homeschooling in Cavite, I had an issue with Edric. It started off as really petty.
First, I was upset at him for insisting that the name of our daughter-to-be needed to have the letters “E” or “J.” I didn’t need to react. But he and I are very different about this. He thinks that all our kids should have similar starting letters. I am of the mindset that this is a very confining way to select names. What if you find a name that you really like and it doesn’t start with an E, J, or T? What then? Well, we have had this discussion with every baby.
When the name picking debate came up again, I shouldn’t have gotten worked up but I commented, “This is sort of cultish, hon. I don’t see why we have to use E and J? I’m the one carrying the baby here, don’t I have a say on this?” And I walked into our van without waiting for a response. I admit that I was unraveling emotionally over something that really wasn’t that big a deal.
The second thing that happened was in Mc Donald’s. I ordered breakfast for 9 people, including the driver and yayas. Edric and the kids sat around waiting for their breakfast, which was fine because Edric usually delegates these things to me. However, after spending all that time figuring out what to order and bringing the food over to the family (the yayas did help me), I sat down to this… “Is this it? Where’s my jam? Where’s my ketchup? I need water. I need a spoon and fork.” Edric just went on and on about things that he still needed.
I retorted, “Why don’t you help yourself? I just sat down after getting everybody food. Can I rest for a bit?” He didn’t like this of course. My tone was slightly spiteful and he felt like I didn’t want to serve him. Honestly, I didn’t! I felt like he was being insensitive and self-focused (very judgmental of me). It bothered me that he sat there, all king-like, while me, the pregnant one, had to go and do everything.
Wow, I have been on a roll with my bad attitude lately! These girl hormones are powerful! That’s a lame excuse. It’s called being under spiritual attack. This past week we have been speaking almost every other day. I’ve been tired and I have missed out on my regular quiet time with the Lord.
Well, I am sharing this because I think it is very important to recognize whom the real enemy is. I will get to that…
Edric said to me, “You need to check your heart. When you are ready to talk to me, let’s talk.”
I was quiet. I looked out the window of Mc Donald’s at nothing…cars parked in a row, tires, the plates, the sky. I needed a focal point other than Edric’s face because I felt guilty. In the meantime, I drank his hot chocolate. He didn’t seem to want it anyway.
Sitting opposite of me, Edric was quiet, too. At the back of my head I was concerned. I knew that we were about to talk about home schooling to a group of parents. How could we stand in front of them with integrity?
I praise God for my husband who is truly a spiritual leader to me. Edric went to the restroom, came back, and leaned over to me saying something like this, “Hon, I think we need to recognize that we aren’t each other’s enemies right now. You are not my enemy and I am not your enemy. We are about to do ministry. The devil doesn’t want us to be united.”
His manner softened and he looked at me with a disarming smile. He was right. I started to smile, too. I said sorry and asked for his forgiveness. Immediately after, it was like a devilish spell was broken!
Satan is a divider. He is always after marriages and families, seeking to cause dissension, attempting to use whomever he can as the weak link, the entry point. On Saturday morning, that was me! I was the chink in our marital armor. I was allowing the evil one to influence my thoughts and actions.
However, as soon as Edric and I recognized that he was trying to cause division between us, the oppression stopped. We yielded ourselves to the Lord once again.
In the car, with the kids, we prayed for the event we were about to go to. We came into the morning’s activities as a team, ready to serve the Lord and others, and not hiding some deep seated irritation or anger that could block the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives.
And amazingly, in the afternoon, we revisited the baby name issue and Edric’s opinion on “E” and “J” changed! I expressed by disgruntled-ness with a lot more calm and he realized it was stressing me out. So he suggested that I go ahead and pick out names without worrying about first initials and then we would take it from there. Yeah!
Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:7, 8 NASB)
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8 NASB)