Saturday, August 9, 2014

Can you take it?

Ya'll ready for some truth real quick? 

Here it is: sometimes, I don't like the lessons God has for me to learn.

Yup. You heard me.

Sometimes, I am much happier being plain, old, sinful "me" than I am being the me He's calling me to be. 

Well...let me adjust that...sometimes, I THINK I'm happier that way.

Last night was a wonderful example of that. I didn't get much sleep the night before last (not exactly a rare occurrence lately). So yesterday, I was really tired and whiny most of the day. I knew it was going to be a pretty busy afternoon/evening, but I didn't really want to think about it.

As the morning crept into afternoon and then the afternoon got a bit of age on it, too, I realized I had far more on my plate than I thought I did. I'll spare you the list, but just know there was a lot to juggle. I'd also forgotten that Josiah told me he had plans with a friend which would make the evening even busier.

So - there you have it. I was a bit of a mess yesterday afternoon...and that didn't go unnoticed by my husband.

I had already admitted to him that I hadn't planned the day well...and he heartily agreed.

He was upset and frustrated and very lovingly and clearly expressed that to me - I had all day to make sure at least one of these things went more smoothly, but none of it did.

Now, here's where we get to the "me not wanting to be who He's calling me to be" part: I do not take criticism well.

In my last post, I talked about how we should and shouldn't present constructive criticism to our husbands. Let me tell ya, I can dish criticism with love and respect and concern...I am a diplomat!

But wheeeeeeew, girl, let me tell you about someone who does NOT take criticism at all well., even when it's expressed with love and respect.

My first reaction is to DEFEND. I want to make excuses and give reasons, and THEN, quite frequently, I also want to tell you why it's partially your fault, too. After all, why should I take all the blame? Why should I shoulder ALL the responsibility?

Because I'm not going to learn anything if I handle criticism that way.

Listen to advice and accept instruction, 
so that you may we wise later in life.
Proverbs 19:20

Honestly, I wish I had known that verse yesterday. I didn't. I just now googled it.

However, God gave me a different reminder of how to accept rebuke: my husband's example.

Josiah is always so good at accepting correction from me. He does it with humility and concern. He honestly wants to know how he's offended me, and he wants to fix it. 

Did you catch that? Because it's really important: he honestly wants to know how he's offended me, and he wants to fix it.

Yes, I just typed the same sentence twice because I think it's that critical.

Josiah is not my enemy, nor am I his. He understands that I am not someone against whom he must defend himself and views my correction as a way to make our marriage stronger. I am his ally, his partner.

If both of us are constantly battling correction from the other, then neither of us is improving and we're pushing one another farther apart. In order for us to grow closer, we must learn to correct with grace and accept correction gracefully, as well.

So, by the grace of God - not me but HIM in me - I was able to do something last night I've never been able to do before: suck it up and take it...and then sincerely apologize for it.

I still battled within myself some. I still had the urge to share how I thought HE could have made the situation better, too. But I prayed my way right on through that.

In the end, yesterday was my responsibility. I hadn't planned well. I hadn't prepared well. I was tired and lazy and whiny, and that wound up causing a man who is working 48-50 hours this week far more frustration than he needed. He had to step in where I failed.

And he did...because I am his ally, his partner. We graciously make up for the weaknesses of the other and take the wheel when the other is too tired or frustrated to drive.

The evening came and went, and all was well by the time our heads hit the pillows - and I learned a valuable lesson in humility and accepting correction.

I guess we can call that a successful day, after all.


  1. I struggle with criticism, too. We actually just discussed that last weekend. Any chance you've read The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller? We are discussing it in small group and the last chapter we discussed is all about how as spouses we are supposed to help each other become who God planned for us to be (with truth and love).

  2. I haven't read it, but I'll add it to my list! LOL Honestly, I don't think I ever really faced how awful I am at criticism until that moment. I don't think it's ever something I WON'T struggle with, but thankfully, it's never something I'll struggle with alone! <3