You may have heard of the acronym H.A.L.T. It stands for hungry, angry, lonely, tired. It is a caution often used in addiction recovery where people are urged not to make any drastic decisions when one of those 4 conditions applies.
That’s a really good caution for wives as well! Don’t make any major decisions about leaving your husband, filing for divorce, or even giving full vent to your temper if you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired. However, I would like to add one more condition. Don’t make any major decisions when….it’s that time of the month!! Women are often so overly-emotional in the days leading up to their period, that we become drama queens! Everything happening around us is exaggerated in intensity. So, even though you feel like reacting in a dramatic way, remind yourself to pause and see if you still feel the same way 3 or 4 days later.
This verse comes to mind. James 1:19-20 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
We’re all going to encounter some tough times in our marriage. We’re all going to experience heartbreak and challenge in our lives in general. The question is this. Why are some people able to bounce back from adversity relatively quickly, and why do others seem to remain stuck?
At the risk of you hating me 🙂 …I’ll be honest and let you know that I tend to be very resilient. After an initial period of shock and grief, I’m usually able to quickly pick myself up, dust myself off and move forward. After pondering this ability with God, allow me share a 3 word insight that might help you become more resilient too.
I trust God. Period. Three little words that mean everything! I have decided to believe that God is in control and that His ways are perfect. I have decided to believe that God can and will bring something good out of my hardship. This is what we learn at the end of Joseph’s painful story in Genesis, where Joseph proclaims in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…” I also take heart from Romans 8:28, where God says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
I can bounce back because I trust God and because He says He will never leave me nor forsake me. Do you truly trust God? It’s a decision you get to make, and it makes all the difference.
If you’re like most women, you’re busy…REALLY busy. Most of us are multi-taskers to the max. We are trying to balance housekeeping, with nurturing children, with investing in our marriage, with maybe even working full-time outside the home. Oh, and you might be trying to help out at church too! More than likely, you’re exhausted, stressed, and maybe even a bit cranky. Did I hit that nail on the head?
How about if we all intentionally slow down? What if you and I were to ask God in prayer for His direction on where we can cut something out of our busy lives? Is there a better way to divide responsibilities in our home? Should you cut out one of the kid’s activities?
Do you simply need to take 15 minutes twice a day to be still with God? Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”. Maybe it’s time for us to carve out some time to be still. I have a feeling that we will find our stress drain away as we enter a time of stillness, and as we become less stressed, everyone around us will benefit! In fact, your husband may become the biggest fan of your “be still” time with God! You’ll probably be less cranky. Hah!
Do you feel tempted to throw in the towel regarding your marriage? I know it can be tempting to just bail out, but please let me encourage you to do everything you can to fight FOR your marriage!
When you’re going through a serious challenge in your marriage, it seems right to choose the path where the pain can be quickly relieved. In a nutshell, it often seems best to choose divorce. But I’ve been through divorce, and I can honestly say that even though some of your pain will be relieved, you’ll be faced with a whole new set of problems and heartbreak.
So, maybe you should try something else. What if you were to seek outside counsel for your marriage? What if you were to spend time on your knees crying out to God on behalf of your marriage? What if you were to courageously, but respectfully, confront your husband if he is seriously out of line in some area? That could be the beginning of a turn-around in your marriage.
And also, please consider that other people are watching how you handle challenging times. Your children are watching how you handle this. Are you teaching them to bail out of situations and relationships when the going gets tough, or are you showing them how to persevere and do the hard work to restore the relationship? Meditate on Hebrews 12:1-2 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus…”
When we face a challenge, a dilemma, or even a crisis…we tend to search high and low for the easy answer. We cry out to God, asking him to give us the magic pill that will make it all go away! We call our mom or our girlfriends and we whine and complain about the problem, hoping they will have the magical, painless answer to our situation. Well, here’s the thing. The answer isn’t easy, but it is simple. Seek God’s counsel and then actually pause to listen.
Proverbs 18:13 says “To answer before listening, that is folly and shame.” Yet, that is exactly what many of us do. We complain to God. We pray that he would magically fix our situation in the way that WE say is best, and yet, we don’t actually consult the Bible to see what guidance he has for us. We pray that God would tell us what to do about the problem, yet we don’t actually pause to listen for the Holy Spirit’s quiet whisper of guidance.
The answer is simple. Dive into God’s Word. It will guide you. Psalm 119:105 says. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Ask God to give you direction through the Holy Spirit, who is our counselor. John 14:26 says (in the Amplified Bible), “But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf, He will teach you all things.”
Watching the news each night on television makes me shudder. We learn of murders. We watch towns leveled and lives taken by earthquakes and hurricanes. Life on this earth is so short and we never know when we will be living our last day in these bodies. It causes me to reflect on the legacy I would leave if I were to be called home to be with Jesus today. It is something for you to ponder too. In what condition would you have left your marriage? What legacy would you have left in that regard? Would your children say they had an excellent role model for what a godly wife is supposed to look like? Or would they say mom was cold and bitter toward dad and seemed to always point out something he had done wrong?
The Bible wisely instructs us “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry…” (Ephesians 4:26). So, perhaps today is a good day to take inventory on your relationships. Have you let anger and bitterness creep into the relationship with your husband, or your children, or other loved ones? Do what you can to respectfully address the issues that have prompted bitterness or anger. The Bible says in Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” So, do what you can today to make peace. Don’t wait until tomorrow. I don’t mean to be theatrical, but truly, none of us has an ironclad guarantee of another sunrise. Let’s leave a godly legacy.
In any relationship, especially a marriage, there are going to be times when the two of you are in conflict. Perhaps your husband is breaking your heart through wrong behavior. At each of those times, we have to make really big decisions. Should I confront my husband on an issue where he appears to be out of line? Should I keep quiet and press into prayer, relying on the Holy Spirit to work in my husband’s heart? Should I compromise on an issue where we’ve been in conflict?
At these times, counsel from other godly women is very helpful, but honestly, my very best guidance comes from God himself. I just need to take a few moments to be quiet with Him and ask Him to speak direction into my mind and heart. Psalm 142:3 says “When my spirit faints within me, you know my way.” Thank you Lord!
I did this recently on an issue between me and a close relative. I thought for sure I should make a certain decision, but once I spent just a few moments quieting myself and asking God to speak His counsel into my mind, I received guidance to go the exact opposite direction! He even allowed me to see why my original idea was flawed. Try this yourself. God is waiting at the door of your mind and heart. Open the door and let Him in.