I keep replaying the conversation in my mind; on our way to breakfast, my husband brought up the lack of cleanliness of my car. I wanted to defend myself. In all honesty, I had every intention of cleaning it about a million times, but getting it done without the kids just never seemed to work out (so I don’t have to be at the car wash with three kids and three car seats). When he mentioned it, I felt defensive and a little guilty. He just said it in passing (he extends way too much grace to me sometimes), but as I’ve really reflected on it… I realized I have been in sin!
When we were first married, I struggled to speak respectfully to my husband. For the most part, that is no longer an issue … so I honestly thought I had “respect” down. Please contain your laughter! In my pride I thought, “I really do respect him- he’s respectable! So I never have to worry about respect again! Yeah for me!” Then today I walked into my home and I saw my sin staring back at me in a pile of papers. I suddenly realized: by not staying on top of things (like the car and the mail) I wasn’t just being indolent, I was being disrespectful!
I know that my husband needs our home to be a sanctuary. He works long strenuous hours at work, and when he comes home, he needs to be able to relax and enjoy the fruits of his labor. He doesn’t want to see a pile of mail and wonder if it’ll be shoved in a basket somewhere. He doesn’t want to step over a pile of shoes when he walks in the door. And yet, often times when he comes home, that is precisely what he finds.
So where’s the disrespect? My actions are disrespectful because I knowingly place his priorities at the bottom of my to-do list. I hate the daunting tasks of sorting mail and doing laundry, so I allow them to build up until I can’t take it anymore. I am supposed to be my husband’s helper, his home manager, but often I put my own priorities ahead of his.
I always thought respect was just the words I speak, but today I realized it’s so much more than that! It’s the attitude of my heart. Do I really respect his wishes? His desires? His hard work? His authority? My actions say, “NO!” Am I grateful for the car he bought me? The home he provides (by God’s provision through him)? Again, my actions say “no.”
It’s easy for me to blame my circumstances. In the last 10 days, we had people over for nine of them… I have three small children… we are involved in several ongoing ministries and projects… And if I can’t blame my circumstances, my heart quickly blames those around me (i.e. “if only that person picked up his/her socks”)… I’m sure you get the picture.
So now I find myself at that cross-section where hope meets repentance, better yet I find myself at the CROSS. I have begged the Lord to forgive me for my sins, and I am hopeful that God will work in my heart so that I can be more diligent and respectful to my husband. I find myself, again, seeking my husband’s forgiveness for my disrespect. I will have to be more careful in the future not to think I have conquered any sin… or else I’m sure by God’s grace I will be proven again to be the worst of sinners.
The heart of her husband safely trust in her, so that he will have no lack of gain. – Proverbs 31:11