Monday, June 29, 2009
Day Two: Love Fest!
I obviously skipped yesterday in my posting. Mainly because I realized that I need to be able to check the box of accomplishing the dare before I can write about my experience. We will now continue on our regularly scheduled program:
The Dare: In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.
Based on the verse: "Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has also forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32
Point that impacted me the most: I don't even know where to start. This book is revolutionary in that you not only read something really powerful, but then you're told to DO something with it. I underlined the majority of the points on this day. Here is a sampling: "Patience avoids a problem; kindness creates a blessing. One is preventive, the other proactive." "Kindness thinks ahead, then takes the first step. It doesn't sit around waiting to be prompted or coerced before getting off the couch. The kind husband or wife will be the one who greets first, smiles first, serves first, and forgives first. They don't require the other to get his or her act together before showing love."
Here's what I did. Friday night John and I had a drag out fight (the night before I started the book). I was ironing and told him I was too tired to finish, he was upset that I hadn't ironed his shirt in weeks. I threw a royal hissy fit that included (but was not limited to) throwing his shirt on the chair, vowing to never iron anything of his for the rest of my life, and proceeding to look for things to iron of anyone else's in the house to make the point that I wasn't ironing his shirt abundantly clear (I mean, I was ready to go and wrinkle some clothes just to iron them to make him mad).
Okay, I warned you not only that I was immature, but also that I would be brutally honest.
So yesterday, I ironed his shirt. I didn't think he was going to say anything. He walked by me, and I was reminding myself of why I was doing it, when he got about halfway up the stairs he thanked me. This wasn't the "fall at my feet profuse thanking" that I expected, but I'd take it.
Then he added "Thanks....for doing your job." (he started laughing....I did not) He thought he was being funny but it really gets under my skin when he makes jabs like this. In fact, I paused for a moment and seriously contemplated sticking the hot iron on his shirt and walking away....that would have felt SO good. Resolved not to let it blow into a huge thing, I just reminded myself he was kidding, and didn't say a word.
So here's the second part (that I've already begun to touch on) it's getting harder not to say anything negative.
I'll be the first to admit that we need to confront certain issues in others. (ask anyone who knows me) The problem is I've gotten a little too good at the confrontation part. So I've realized I just can't say anything for a while. Till I get better at thinking before I talk. Eventually, I'll learn how to calm down, forgive, and then speak. Not there yet.
So I just shut it.
And it's getting really hard.
But here's the sneaky thing that the author of this book doesn't tell you. When you're so concerned about making sure you don't say anything negative to your spouse. Your words are always on your mind. See, I'm being so careful to not want to break my dare and say something nasty, that I'm really thinking carefully about all the things I say. I'm even realizing when I just complain (and I think...wait....did that count?) So I'm realizing just how quick I talk, without thinking about the weight of my words. This has been awesome for me. And really has shown me how often my anger and quick tongue brings on arguments that I could have let go otherwise.
Anyways, all this to say, I'm loving it. I'm learning over and over that God is using this imperfect man, to butt right up against the rough parts of myself to change ME.
I recently read a really great analogy about how relationships are like a math equation. If x + y = z, (let's say John is the "x", I am the "y" and what we get in our marriage is the "z". Now, I'll never be able to change the "x". EVER!
Do you believe that?
But I can change the y...which will in turn change the outcome. See if I take x + 2y= something totally different.
Interesting how that works. God's changing the outcome...by changing me.
Posted by Jenn at 9:38 AM