Pain can be a beautiful thing.
During my quiet time, I couldn’t find my Jon Courson’s Application Commentary. The kids like to use it, relocate it, or simply misplace this precious book in their effort to tidy sometimes. However, come 5:30 in morning, I’m scrambling about the house (quietly, of course…don’t want to wake anyone and disturb that first hour of solitude I so cherish) in search for my book.
Unable to find it, I picked up Rick Warren’s the Purpose Driven Life for inspiration. With coffee in hand, deep in early-morning fog, I read:
“Pain is the fuel of passion—it energizes us with an intensity to change that we don’t normally possess. C.S. Lewis said, ‘Pain is God’s Megaphone.’ It is God’s way of arousing us from spiritual lethargy. Your problems are not punishment; they are wake-up calls from a loving God. God is not mad at you; he’s mad about you, and he will do whatever it takes to bring you back into fellowship with him.”
Pain forces me to search my heart.
I know this.
Not that I should associate pain with marriage, but let’s face it, some days—marriage can be brutal. Of course, this typically happens when I self-talk my way into a pity party of why he isn’t listening or responding with overflowing compassion when I share my deepest insecurities.
He’s a man. Praise God for that, right? Yet, at times, I want him to possess a little estrogen and be that concerned sister who pats my hand while saying, “You poor thing. Come here and let me give you a hug.”
Really. Is that what I want?
He typically puts on his Mr. Fix-everything hat and provides a three-point lecture on how to overcome such shenanigans.
I attend the lecture in body, all the while my mind fills with unworthy thoughts towards the man God gave me. So I pick him apart while he’s talking. I stopped listen as soon as he said, “Well…” and entered speech mode.
See, that’s pain. Mainly in my heart—because I allow selfishness to get the best of me, but it’s still painful. Not as agonizing as a dreadful disease or losing a loved one, but it’s a sort of heart-ripping discomfort when certain needs aren’t met, and I unfairly blame him for his inability to read my mind.
So the other day, I decided to spell out what he was doing wrong. (I think I just heard chuckles around the globe.) This conversation didn’t go as planned.
In essence, I told him he was a bad husband. Not exactly my words…but that’s how the talk was summarized. Jason likes to repeat my important presentations in bullet-point format—which is helpful for a visual person like me.
Bad husband was bullet point number one.
Now, I’m the bad wife. I sifted through all his good qualities in search of that small imperfection and honed in with magnifying force.
Pain is good. I think I learn best that way, because through my self-centeredness, I saw of glimpse of pain in his eye. Ouch.
The next morning I returned to The Purpose Driven Life. “You are as close to God as you choose to be.”
I paused, put the book down and thought, You know. I’m also as close to my husband as I choose to be, too.
Love when God helps me make those connections.
Today I’ve decided to make my own bullet-point list of why, in fact, Jason is an exceptional husband.
Guess marriage isn’t as painful after all. And I’m super-glad he doesn’t posses my estrogen problem. Can’t imagine two of us in the trenches, wallowing together.
Mr. Fix-it can stay–as long as he continues with those misty eyes during sappy shows. 🙂
Thanks, Babe, for being you. And for loving me just the way I am. You really are the best husband.
How about you? What pain have you learned from? What qualities do you love about your spouse?