Last week we talked about forgiving huge issues. Today let’s discuss what most of us deal with in regards to disrespect.
You may have already heard me share this, but I want to finish these posts on respect with this illustration…
Imagine that your husband walks into the house after his work day is over. You’re standing in the kitchen as he walks towards you, and you notice something that’s not right. Your eyes go to his left shirt pocket – or more precisely the blue ink spot on his left shirt pocket. It’s the size of a quarter. The rest of the shirt is clean, but your eyes have found the ink spot, and you can’t even bring your gaze up to his face. Your mind is absorbed with how you will remove it, if it will spread to other pieces of laundry or to the washing machine, and then to the location of the guilty pen.
That ink spot represents all the irritants in our husband’s life. They’re small things – his socks beside the bed on the bedroom floor, the whiskers behind the sink faucet in the master bath, his clicking away of the television channels just when you get interested in a program, his lack of spiritual leadership, and a dozen other menial habits. They might seem small to others, but to you, they’re blinding. They’re so blinding you just can’t get your eyes off of them. When he walks into the room, the “ink spots” come into view, and you just have to say something. Enter disrespect, stage left.
When we begin to discuss those spots, our husband feels disrespected. This is why it is crucial to keep our ink spot viewing to ourselves. If we feel we must say something, it needs to be spoken to the Lord in the form of a prayer. If it’s really an issue that will harm his testimony or keep him from growing spiritually, can we not trust the God that saved him to bring it to his attention?
I learned the hard way that my bringing these things to my husband’s attention only brought strife between us. If he changed, it was always temporary. However, when I talk to the Lord about those things, one of two things happens:
- He changes me by making me realize it wasn’t important. (This doesn’t happen overnight!)
- He changes my husband by bringing this issue to his attention without my help. The change is lasting and brings no strife in our relationship.
Now, why would I choose to stare at the ink spots, and then talk to him about them when God gets much better results? I haven’t got this mastered completely, but I must say, those spots are getting smaller!
What ink spots are you staring at that you need to just write into your prayer journal? Show your husband respect by letting the Holy Spirit clean those up. The result: You’ll be feeling a great deal of love come your way as a result of your husband receiving the respect he longs for!