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Day 6-Love is not irritable

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 6-Love is not irritable

THE DARE:
"Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation. Begin by making a list below of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule. Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life."

*This one is a bit long winded. I can't help it.

If you haven't already noticed, I'm not posting these every single day. (I can't keep to a blogging schedule to save my life), but I will post each day eventually. I can tell that the journey is about to get hard. The old bait and switch! The first five days were really fun. Then I opened the book and read Day 6.

Now this one is going to take work.

This chapter discusses how we become irritable and quick to fire when we do not take the steps we need to in life to avoid such behavioral triggers. Like stress.

"A loving wife is not overly sensitive or cranky but exercises emotional self-control. She chooses to be a flower among the thorns and respond pleasantly during prickly situations."

I can honestly say that in the months past I am stressed. I have been very tender emotionally, and overly sensitive in more ways than I could count. The last few months of the past year really wore me out. Up until Christmas time, I was left feeling pretty drained. I think I even battled with some depression.

That is not to say you can battle depression and snap out of it. I didn't actually seek a doctor's opinion, but that's how I felt, and I'm starting to feel better. I don't for one second want to make light of the fact that many struggle with depression, and would probably be aghast at my "oh-I-had-depression-last-month-statement". Depression is real and serious, and it is only by the grace of God that I think I'm feeling better.

But, feeling beat down certainly takes it toll on me and my relationships. Including my marriage. Now, I also know that I'm not to blame for all of our marital problems, but doing this dare isn't about me finding ways to point the finger at my husband. It's about me taking a good, long, hard look in the mirror. In the hopes that I might be changed, and because of that change in me, my marriage will be blessed.

So, as not to point the finger, how can I make sure I'm "quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry" (James 1:19)?

Well, I have some ideas.
They're not necessarily new ideas, but ideas I need to practice with more discipline.

#1 Prayer
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace which transcends understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

When I actually make the time to meet with God and cry out to Him, it changes everything. I have a peace that really does transcend understanding. The problem is no longer mine. It's God's. He will handle it for me, and give me peace until his plan is revealed. It happens every time. This task, first and foremost, must have a greater significance in my life! It must. Or else, things will never change.

#2 Forgiveness
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which bind them together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:12-14 

It has been made painfully clear to me this past weekend how much I struggle with unforgiveness. To be completely honest, I read day 6 on Thursday, and really had to dive into God's word in order to make some sense out of the thoughts I was having. I know God has some work to do in me in this department.

I realize that I can be bitter and unforgiving. Ouch!

Here's the kicker. Even if the unforgiveness isn't necessarily about my spouse.

This past week I had some family members treat me badly (a repeated offense by these particular parties), and I am learning how carrying unforgiveness in my heart towards anyone causes me to be short tempered, irritated, and angry. I let the actions of others (the hurtful behavior) affect my relationships at home (my spouse, my children). Ummm...that's not good! So, it's on my list to work on. I feel some relief that I'm aware of it, and can work on it. "I can do all things through him who gives me strength"! (Philippians 4:13

And this is hard to admit, but I think I stuggle forgiving my kids. Yup, you heard me. When they misbehave or give me a hard time, I have trouble getting over it, and moving forward with the rest of the day. Their poor behavior in the morning may still be affecting me in the evening when hubs gets home. By then, they're completley fine, and I'm the problem. If they have an off morning, I think I turn it into an off day and night sometimes.

Do you see how I look irritated quite often? I don't want to be the "high strung" wife. Sigh...


Here are a few gems...
"Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." Proverbs 21:9

"A fool shows her annoyance at once, but a wise women overlooks an insult." Proverbs 12:16

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1

"The wise woman build her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." Proverbs 14:1

And yes, I think I struggle to forgive hubs too. Recently, we've come up against some tough topics, and I wondered if I was going to be able to really forgive, or will I just act like I forgive him, and be completley angry if I'm disappointed? I don't know. Like I said, this is work. Even if my actions seem that I have forgiven, I know I need to work on completely releasing the situation to God. Truly giving it up to him.
Forgiveness really has nothing to do with the person you are forgiving. It has everything to do with you and God!

#3 Taking care of me
A wife and mom who is overworked and exhausted is no fun to be around. I need to take some personal steps to take care of my physical health, which I know will bless my mental health. I have little discipline in this area, but I know that the more I love myself, the more I can love others. I'd like to start jogging and eating healthier. Even a poor diet can lead to stress. Which in turn trickles down to my husband and children.

I need to allow myself some guilt free rest and relaxation!

My list could go forever, but these were the three big ones. Plus, the dare said to "start" making a list.

This day was hard for me. I guess that's why it actually took me three or four days to get some clarity on the topic! I'm more interested in life change and learning than I am with keeping to a calendar. If I don't post each day on a set schedule, it's for good reason. God isn't done telling me what he wants me to get! If you're taking the dare along with me, I urge you to not care about the days being back to back. It's that you do them at all that matters, and I for one, plan on getting through all 40! Even it takes longer.

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***Read about why I'm taking The Love Dare HERE. Wanna join me? Come back and comment with a link to your post. I'd love to hear about your journey! To read any of the other Love Dare posts just click on the label "The Love Dare" at the bottom of this post.

Take the Dare!





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5 Comments:

At January 31, 2011 at 4:06 PM , Blogger Shell said...

I act irritated towards my husband even when it's not his fault. It's like he's my safe person to be snippy with, so he gets the worst of it.

 
At January 31, 2011 at 9:01 PM , Blogger Mandy said...

Your honesty is refreshing and encouraging! I'm learning myself that I'm not as forgiving as I've always thought I was...ouch!

 
At April 29, 2011 at 2:50 PM , Blogger Melissa aka Equidae said...

I think your list to work on is what I need to work on to :) whenever I let go of a situation and leave it in His hands yes it all gets better straght away and yes i get irritable with hubs easily over nothing...sigh...

 
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