Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Dealing with Disappointment

How do you deal with disappointment in your husband? Last week, my Beloved came home in the middle of the day. When he came in, he said, "We need to talk."

I don't know about you, but when I hear those words, the first thing I do is start to think of all the things I could have possibly done that would be earth shattering. Then I always think that he's lost his job (long story - maybe I'll tell it someday.) Anyway, those words in that tone always make me feel sick to my stomach.

Well, he had made a really bad decision and was demoted at work. He also received a suspension. He really didn't want to tell me, because he knew I would be angry. But you know what? I wasn't. I was really disappointed in him, but I wasn't angry.

As wives, how do we handle it? We have tremendous power to either totally crush our husband, or to build him up, and enable him to feel like a loved man, even when they are less than perfect (and aren't we all?).

We spent some time just sitting in silence (I was wanting to weigh my words very carefully before I said them), and we spent some time talking - about the different aspects of the situation. I did gently remind him that as a husband and daddy, he no longer makes decisions just for himself. We are all affected by any decision he makes. I also spent time just letting him know that I still love him, and I am supportive of him.

When our husband's do something that disappoints us, we have a decision to make. We can be angry and punish them - either by silence, or by ranting and raving, and reminding them of every other thing they've ever did that was wrong; or we can take it in stride, and love them, and be supportive. Don't misunderstand me. I am not suggesting that we ignore whatever it was, or that we excuse them from the responsibility of the decisions they have made. But, I am suggesting that we extend grace.

Your husband is who you were created for. What a beautiful thought! How wonderful is our God? You are the created helpmeet for your beloved. In disappointment, that means looking at the whole of who he is. "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1

For me, that means that I think about who he was. My Beloved did not have the priviledge of growing up in a Christian home. In fact, his home was pretty disfunctional. God has brought him so far in the almost 18 years that we have been married, he has grown and changed so much. I look at who he is now. He is a respected man in our community. People know that if they are in need, he will give them the shirt off his back if it will be of help to them. He loves God, and although he is still a sinful man, he desires to be godly. He is a good and honorable man. He made a mistake. Do I define him by that mistake? Do any of us want to be defined by our mistakes? I don't. This is part of the beauty of Christ. We are not defined by our mistakes, we are not even defined by who we are. We are defined by His perfection. "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, the new has come." 2 Cor. 5:17

I have chosen to stand beside my husband. To love him in spite of his faults, because, praise God, he loves me in spite of mine. To be supportive of him, and to be his cheerleader. I could easily make him feel like a complete failure, but he is not. So, I choose to let him know how much I love him, how wonderful I think he is, what a good provider he is for his family. I choose to remind him of God's grace in His life, and how God has grown and changed him. I choose to build him up, because it enables him to be the man that God would have him be. I also choose to pray for him. What a priviledge to pray for this precious man that is my beloved husband.

I choose to look at this situation as God's providence in our lives. God has, in His sovereignty brought us along this path. I don't know or understand why, but it is enough to know that God has ordered these steps, as difficult as they are.

I have used the word "choose" a lot. But that it because it is all choice. Even if I was just reacting, I would be choosing by omission. We can't get away from our responsibility to be loving, supportive helpmeets, even when it's difficult. May God give you the grace and wisdom to love your husband in the way he needs.

1 comment:

Mrs. U said...

Wonderful post, Mrs. Dole!!! I really appreciate you sharing the Truth about our relationships with our husbands. Thank you for setting a godly example for us all.

Mrs. U