Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Marriage and Prayer - How to lower stress and stop a fight

For those that don’t know, my sweet husband started a new job this past week, a job that is going to drastically change the trajectory of our family. We are moving in a few weeks and he will go back to graduate school again in the fall. All these changes have caused my anxiety level to sky rocket. In response to this, Jarrod offered that we share access to our virtual calendars. While we have a paper family calendar, we can only check it when we are at home. We made a promise to put everything on our calendars.
Jarrod’s a wonderful human, a fantastic husband, and seriously the best dada that I’ve ever seen. But he’s forgetful and disorganized. And unfortunately keeping a calendar wasn’t second nature for him. He forgot to add evening practices and weekend meetings on his calendar. One particularly stressful night I decided to overlook Jarrod’s wonderful assets and focus on his flaws. Am I the only one who does this? I become fixated on silly little faults and ignore the big, beautiful picture. My poor husband didn’t know what to do. He acknowledged that he messed up, promised he would try harder in the future, and apologized. But I couldn’t let it go. I was getting more and more angry, picking at little things and pushing because I wanted to "win." 
I always want to win. I fight the urge to win all the time, even at the sacrifice of relationships. It's a huge flaw in my personality that I'm constantly working on. My husband, unfortunately gets the brunt of this flaw.  
Rather than continue the argument, Jarrod sat down and said he wanted to pray. While we pray together twice each evening, once with our son and once just the two of us, we have not used prayer in the midst of an argument. While it made sense and is something I’d suggest other people do, it felt somewhat foreign to me. I agreed because I knew it was what we needed to do. We prayed for our marriage, for peace, and for each other. We centered ourselves around the one thing that makes sense in our lives - our Creator.
Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. You’ll receive the same judgment you give. Whatever you deal out will be dealt out to you. Why do you see the splinter that’s in your brother’s or sister’s eye, but don’t notice the log in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother or sister, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when there’s a log in your eye? You deceive yourself! First take the log out of your eye, and then you’ll see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s or sister’s eye. - Matthew 7:1-5 CEB
 He prayed and I sobbed. I was immediately aware of the bigger picture in our marriage. God brought comfort and reminded me of why I’m married to Jarrod. I was also overwhelmed with my own shortcomings. In the midst of an argument, I was unable to see my own sin because I was focused so much on Jarrod’s. Praying reminded me how incredibly blessed I am and how I should probably focus on my own sin before trying to fix Jarrod's.

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