We’re infected by the political bug.
Politics has power in this country. It has more power than we would care to admit it actually. For example, politics has the ability to change the way I see you and vice versa.
Think about it. When you hear someone say they’re a Republican or Democrat, what comes to your head? Do you automatically feel like they support something that you don’t? Do you feel like you will now have to change the conversations you have because of their party? Do you feel a little more defensive than you once were?
I’ll be honest, for me, when I hear someone say they associate with a particular party, I begin to form my opinions. How could they support that? Or how can they be a part of that? It’s no wonder they felt like that about guns… All of a sudden their track record is either up for question or now begins to make sense, simply because they identified a political party.
Is my thought process wrong for doing that? Absolutely. Is politics to blame for my jumping to conclusions? No. Does politics help to not jump to conclusions? No. Thus we have a society of people who are drawing conclusions about people because of their association with a party.
Relationships are not perfect. I’m not even referencing marriages or dating relationships. I’m referencing family and friend relationships. Imperfect people can’t come together and create perfect relationships. We can try, but I don’t think it’s possible.
People are just different. It’s OK to be different. It’s OK to have some rifts. In fact, something is very strange if you don’t have some disagreements. Those rifts cause us to see the things in ourselves that may need some work. And they may cause us to see the things that we firmly believe in that we didn’t even realize. They give us perspective.
I guess what I’m saying is, don’t throw a relationship away because you don’t always agree. Don’t miss the signs that may be obvious that you need to change. A lot of times we throw relationships out for selfish reasons. We don’t see it that way, but we do. I didn’t agree with them, so I’m done with them. Unfortunately, sometimes what we don’t agree with is what needs changing in us and we miss the opportunity to realize that.
Don’t throw away good relationships because they don’t work good all of the time. Don’t miss the opportunity to grow into a better person when people who know you best point out ways you can improve. It’s not always fun, but it is necessary for growth. Iron sharpens irons.
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
Do you go to bed angry? I hope not. It’s no fun. I used to try to, it didn’t work.
We have a rule in our marriage. No one can go to bed angry, we can’t afford to, it’s risky. For me, I can’t even sleep well knowing I’m mad, so there’s no point in even trying to go to sleep.
Anger gives Satan a foothold. As soon as I get mad at Brandon, Satan does his best to seize that opportunity. He hates Brandon. He hates me too. He hates marriage. And he does all that he can to make sure we think the most hateful things about each other and our marriage.
Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t allow Satan into your bed, into your rest, convincing you to think things about your marriage that aren’t true. Anger allows that. Sleeping on anger allows this even more. I’m going to ask you and myself a question. It’s a simple question, but it doesn’t make it an easy one.
Is anger more important than your marriage?
Ephesians 4:26-27 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
I guess I messed around and started an anniversary tradition last year, so I have to keep it going now. I get to write a special blog for Brandon! I’ve titled this one What I’ve Learned So Far.
#1 I’ve learned that I’m not always right, even though I want to be.
#2 I’ve learned that it’s OK to do things out of my comfort zone (as long as Brandon has to do it too lol).
#3 I’ve learned that there are some things Brandon cooks better than me, and I’m quite OK with that.
#4 I’m not the best listener in the world.
#5 I could be a little nicer more often.
#6 Being a Proverbs 31 woman is hard (I knew that before marriage though).
#7 It’s one thing to know the right thing to do, quite another to actually do it in your marriage.
#8 What you pray for in your marriage is what tends to be under attack.
#9 Something special happens when spouses pray for each other.
#10 It’s best to be the first to break the silence, this tends to break pride, which is usually a good thing in marriage.
Thank you for the lessons learned with you Brandon. Most importantly, thank You God for being patient with me as I learn them.
If there is one thing under attack in a marriage, it’s communication. Most men and women just don’t know how to communicate. Well, most people don’t know how to communicate.
I’ve noticed that as I said prayers from The Power of a Praying Wife, that area that I was specifically praying about would be under attack. One particular week I was praying for “His Talk.”
That very night, Brandon and I got into a disagreement and he was so frustrated because he was trying to express himself, but just couldn’t. Several times he said I just can’t explain it. And here is where it gets sad.
He couldn’t express himself so I thought I had won. Because he couldn’t verbalize his emotions or create a “comeback” I actually thought I had won whatever it was. And as soon as I felt like a winner, I realized I was the biggest loser.
Our communication was under attack and I didn’t prepare. And thinking either of us is a winner when we argue is proof that we lost. I learned a valuable lesson that day. The moment I see a winner in our marriage that doesn’t have both of us in the winner’s circle is the moment we lose.
And the moment Brandon can’t express himself and doesn’t have a wife that responds with patience and love, I lose. When communication breaks down, couples tend to break down. Clearly, that’s a losing situation. Protect your communication and you’ll have a better chance of protecting your marriage.
I found a note that I left myself in my backpack. It’s a great reminder:
Never stop being who you prided yourself on becoming.
I wasn’t in a very good mood last year. Joy just wasn’t there and hope wasn’t my outlook. And I wrote that to remind myself that no matter what things look like, who I am isn’t supposed to change, unless it’s for the better.
I was happy to be an encourager. I was happy to be a giver. Yet, it seemed that it was hard to be those things when life wasn’t the way I wanted it to be. I had prided myself on being those things, and now I didn’t feel like being that anymore.
When did being what God chose me to be get to become optional based on how I felt? Never, right?
When I read that note today, it made me smile. It’s easier to smile when things are going good. It’s also easier to take things for granted too. Today, I was reminded that whether things are good or bad, I am who God created me to be. And if there’s an encourager, then I am to be that no matter what the circumstances are.
Who have you prided yourself on becoming? Is that person still there?
I’m grateful for my life. I enjoy my life. Life has its challenges, and last year I can honestly say I wasn’t in a good place. Thinking of the place that I feel I am my best at, I know I can say I wasn’t close to that self.
Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically, I just wasn’t well. I wasn’t hospitalized, I wasn’t in a corner crying hysterically, but I know I wasn’t doing well. I wasn’t positive, I was sick off and on consistently. I didn’t have joy, and I didn’t even possess happiness.
So, yes, I’m thankful for life. I know that joy is never meant to be circumstantial, yet I treated it like it was. I’m thankful that even in my moping around, I was still able to know that God had a purpose, and a perfect time for it to be revealed. I’m also grateful that God, in His grace and mercy, allowed me to see another day, even if it was just to apologize for how I had misused the previous one.
I am thankful for my life. I don’t get everything I want. However, I have everything I need. I am thankful for everyday life, here and now. But you know what I’m really thankful for? Life in eternity.