This post might be hard to write, mainly because it’s something I have to work on…. REALLLY bad. My words.
This proves true when speaking to my friends, my kids, and, most importantly, my husband. Last weekend, I was in all kinds of anxiety ridden emotion. I know I’ve explained this before, but in case you don’t know, I suffer from a tad bit of OCD of the brain. I like to be on time and I like to be organized. If I have those two things I’m a happy girl. If I don’t have those two things? My brain can not function and the words out of my mouth slip out faster than I can control. I’m not talking cuss words. I’m not all tacky like that, but my sass and attitude change dramatically as a result of anxiety.
Okay, so last weekend, we needed to be at point A at 11:00am. We, then, needed to be at point B, but 4:00pm. I was on deadline for an article that afternoon AND all the laundry was piled up to the point of me not knowing what any of us would be wearing.
To say I was aggravated was an understatement.
I woke up my husband in such a way that, even I’m embarrassed to admit, “Get up and help me with the kids, will ya?” Shameful. I know. Who wants to be woken up like that?! I sure don’t. I snapped orders left and right and that’s when he did the only thing he could do to stop me. He pointed his finger at me and calmly and lovingly said, “You need to change the way you’re talking to me.”
Defeated and bathing in the honesty of his words, I took a deep breath, stirred my coffee, and thought about my actions.
Was I being unreasonable?
How could he not see I needed help?
Can he not hear the craziness of the kids?
Does he not know we need to be in Pasadena by 11:00?
My thoughts ran across my brain in slow motion typewriter script and I popped back into the reality of my words.
I was being unreasonable.
I was barking out orders.
I could have been more loving.
I could have admitted I’m under a lot of stress.
I could have admitted my anxiety was getting the best of me.
I could have protected him from the words I spoke.
I apologized to my husband with a sweet hug and kiss admitting I was wrong and swallowing my shame in all it’s bitterness. I get like that. My words can paint me in a picture you NEVER want to see.
James 3:11-12 says this:
Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
I’ve read this passage on countless occasions. In fact, I did a whole Bible Study on the book of James when I lived in Memphis and this passage ALWAYS ALWAYS gets me because I’m quick at the mouth. I’m quick to speak, slow to listen. I’m quick to yell, slow at patience. I’m quick to act, slow to observe.
One thing I think about is, how I could praise God for His Blessing, how I could pray for my children in the next room and the loved ones I hold dearly with my tongue, but use that SAME tongue to strike down my husband before he even awakens.
It’s a reality I face, anxiety or not. Protect your spouse with the words you speak. Love them with sweet gestures and kind correctness and always watch your speech……. and maybe your hand motions too.
What about you guys? Have you ever struck at your spouse with your words or gestures? Do you do it on a regular basis? I’ve been there. I tend to keep going back, but I’m getting better. I’ve found four words always make it better…. Will you forgive me?
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