This old saying really is true…”If mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”!! I found that out several years ago when I was having a super stressful, overwhelmingly busy day. My husband was away from the house and he called to see if I had time to take care of a low priority task. I responded by saying “I really don’t have time for that. I am so busy I can hardly breathe.” Well, as soon as he heard me say that, and as soon as he grasped my stress level, I could tell his own anxiety and stress level shot through the roof. He got increasingly agitated on the phone. It was then that I realized that a wife’s stress is contagious! I was spreading the stress virus.
Now, I’m not saying that you or I should try to hide our stress from our family members or pretend it doesn’t exist, but I did get to thinking that my husband’s anxiety and stress was directly tied to mine. As I pondered this with God, I concluded that I needed to re-examine my schedule and my priorities. Perhaps I needed to cut some things out of my schedule so that my stress level would drop. God wants us to live a peaceful life where we actually have time to spend refreshing moments with him. This reminds me of the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10. Jesus comes to the home of these two sisters and Martha is stressed out trying to take care of the hospitality details, while Mary sits quietly at the feet of Jesus. Martha complains to Jesus about her sister, but Jesus says this in verses 41 and 42: “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better…”
Maybe it’s time for us to re-examine our busy schedules. Maybe it’s time to cut back on our activities or the kid’s activities. Maybe we need to spend less time scrolling through social media and checking the latest news, so that we are not so squeezed for time to do the tasks in front of us. Maybe we need to start each day by meditating on God’s Word and bringing all our concerns to Him in prayer. For me….it will not only be good for my health, but also for my whole family! How about you? Are you stressed out a lot? Do you need to take a hard look at your schedule? Would your anxiety and stress level drop if you spent more time with the Lord?
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.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can get pretty grumpy when events become challenging in my day. When the internet goes down while I’m trying to work on my computer, I get super frustrated. When I accidentally drop a bunch of flour on the floor while baking, I get grouchy. When I get an unanticipated bill in the mail, I get really irritated. Unfortunately, when that happened in the past, if my husband happened to walk by at that particular moment, I inflicted collateral damage! Collateral damage is a military term where civilians, who were minding their own business, are injured unintentionally by a military strike. Hmmm. Yes, my husband sometimes ended up being that innocent civilian who was injured by the bullets coming from my mouth and the darts shooting from my eyes during moments of irritability!
How can you prevent this collateral damage? Here are two possible remedies:
1) Pause before you react! Before a word comes out of your mouth, pause. During this pause, remember who your enemy is. Your enemy is NOT your husband…or your children. Your enemy is Satan and he is TRYING to provoke you! 1 Peter 5:8-9 says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…”
2) Claim two specific Bible promises and pray that God would fulfill those promises for you in this moment…Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon forged against me will prevail” and Romans 8:28 “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose“.