When he’s ticked you off to the point that you don’t care if he lives or dies, what if he did die?
Emotional pain drives us to do and think things we will later regret. Seeing the biggest picture puts our pain in perspective.
If you have been fantasizing about what you would write on your hubby’s tombstone, maybe it’s time to consider the biggest picture.
The biggest picture
The big picture is that it really could happen! Any of us could be worm food tomorrow. The big picture is that we are called to grow more and more in the character of Christ (Eph. 4:14-15).
The biggest picture is that marriage is God’s way of showing us what he wants our relationship with Him to be like. That’s why God uses marriage symbolically (and not so symbolically) throughout the entire Bible.
So, if God wishes marriage to be a representation of our relationship with him, how does that translate into everyday living? No, our spouse is not our god on earth (although Dave would love it if I called him, “Master,” when he walks through the door). Think about how you will relate to God when you see him face to face? Do you think you will be fighting and arguing with God in heaven? Or do you think that you will humbly ask each day how you can serve and praise him?
I think Philippians 2 describes the basics in how we should treat each other.
Be humble (Phil 2:3)
Be cheerful (no grumbling or arguing) (Phil. 2: 14)
Then there’s this bonus:
Allow God to work in you (Phil. 2:13)
The biggest picture is that God wants you to do everything possible to grow more holy, individually and as a couple. I do not think that God wants only holiness in your marriage. That’s why I believe holiness is a path to happiness. The blessing of holiness is that you become happier along the way.
What do I mean by holiness? I’ve just told you, see Philippians 2 above.
Carefully consider the big picture and then, think outside-of-the-box.
Inside-the-box thinking says you to try to change your spouse, to get him to see it your way. Outside-the-box thinking says you override your instinct with a higher purpose. You look inside yourself to what could be changed.
Re-direct your attention from your husband’s faults to something closer to home. Compare your own heart with the holy qualities above.
I won’t lie, laying down your views and honestly evaluating inwardly is hard work. Motivation to do this comes from wrapping your heart around the biggest picture. God’s work within you (Phil. 2:13) is what makes it possible for you to succeed in moving toward the higher purpose. You only need the desire to make a better relationship with your husband. Let God know in prayer what you need and how you need his help.
The way out of emotional pain isn’t by changing your husband or killing him off in your mind. The way out of emotional pain starts with pointing yourself back toward the character of Christ and killing off some selfishness within.
From my own story, I had selfishness to kill off. I didn’t want to participate in the marriage bed while he was acting like a jerk or giving me the silent treatment. (Disclaimer: I am speaking to generally good-willed Christian husbands, not abusers of any kind. See this Gary Thomas article to explain the kind of husband’s I’m NOT talking about.)
Once I took a step toward him in this area, he was able to ‘see’ me better because the hunger of his sexual drive wasn’t clouding his lens.
If you want to demand your husband become more giving and godly, you first have to be more giving and godly yourself. Then calmly, yet firmly, you stand for God’s principles in your marriage. You call him on his actions in a loving way. Before mentally killing him off, change your own heart and then help him see how he can change his.
“As iron sharpens iron, one friend sharpens another,” Proverbs 27:17.
The biggest picture looks far down the road, not just at tomorrow. The biggest picture is that God is using your marriage troubles to help you become more. In turn, you can help your husband become more. We are always becoming more with the gift of the Holy Spirit. That’s the beauty of the Great Comforter. He won’t let us stay stupid.
This post was prompted by a family friend who lost her husband about a year ago. Reading this young widow’s pain in her post made me wince. It caused me to remember that when our marriage was miserable I may have off’d my husband in my mind. It was a kick in my gut when I remembered that Jesus said just to be angry with someone and yelling at them is the same as murder (Matt. 5:21-22).
If you have been fantasizing about what it would be like if your hubby died, maybe it’s time to consider the biggest picture.
If this is your first time visiting OysterBed7, Welcome!
Want to receive more posts follow me by email? Subscribe in the right hand column.