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The Dryer Incident

1091094_28911073
From a wife with an unbelieving husband.  She has been on this journey for about 5 months now, and it has been quite difficult. Her husband has felt very disrespected for a long time. Things are quite tense, even now. Her husband has even threatened to leave a few times in recent weeks. But her faith in God is growing by leaps and bounds and what He is doing in her is SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!  I appreciate her willingness to allow me to share:
For a day that didn’t start out that great, I’m doing pretty good now.  I woke up to my husband yelling at me about his clothes in the dryer still being wet and now he was scrambling trying to get ready for work and how ridiculous it was that I thought what he did didn’t make sense when obviously I should know better than to put so much in the dryer.
I could hardly process it and all I said was I was sorry before he stormed out to work.  He had cleaned out his truck of all his work things that had gathered up over the past while and brought in a bunch of dirty clothes.
I thought I would bless him by doing a bunch of laundry while he was out in the evening. 
I left the last load in the dryer and went to bed.  I didn’t mean for it to still be wet in the morning.
I was so discouraged.  It seems even my attempts to bless him backfire.  I can’t get things right or he misinterprets my intentions.  I was determined not to get angry or feel sorry for myself, though, and was praying that God would help me to bless him and know how to respond to him.
I really focused on one statement that he said when he was upset that described what he was feeling underneath his anger:  “You think what I do doesn’t make sense.”  How frustrating for him!  To feel like I’m always judging or looking down on or trying to change what and how he does things.  How utterly disrespectful of me!  So, while part of me was hoping that maybe the dryer was broken and the clothes being wet wouldn’t be my fault so he’d feel bad about yelling, I was glad for this glimpse into his perspective so that I could focus on how he was feeling/hurting instead of myself which would’ve led to self-pity and resentment and nowhere good.

Now, I think there’s something else that came to my awareness through this.

My motives.

Maybe I’m doing these things to bless him, yes, but also with not exactly expectations, but hopes that he’ll notice and feel badly about how he’s treating me.  I should be doing the laundry for Jesus!  🙂  To honor Jesus by blessing my husband and being respectful and submissive despite my husband’s actions, without expectations or even hopes for any change.  This is hard!  It’s hard not to hope for things to get better and not to think about how maybe if I do certain things it will help make things better.  How do I keep myself from thinking like that instead of focusing on Christ?  I guess just by constantly examining my motives and repenting when they’re not exactly pure.

Anyway, I was still thinking on all this when my husband called!  He asked how our son was, who has a cold, but that seemed a bit odd to me.  He doesn’t usually call without a specific reason.

Then, he said he was sorry!  That he didn’t mean to freak out at me, but was just really frustrated that all his clothes were still wet.

It’s a good thing he couldn’t see how shocked I was!  An apology was the last thing I was expecting!  I thought at best, it just wouldn’t come up again.  I thanked him and apologized again, trying not to defend myself, but just saying I was trying to be helpful and I didn’t mean to overload the dryer and cause him so much frustration.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

This precious sister of mine is in a DIFFICULT situation. BUT – she sees with God’s eyes now. She sees how this argument was a chance for her to discover a bit more of her husband’s pain. She sees how God used this painful situation to help her uncover her true motives and to refine her faith. AND – she sees how when she obeys God and seeks to honor and please Him alone, He is able to speak to her husband – even though his heart is distant and hard right now.

Please join with me in praying for this couple – for his salvation and for her to be strong in Christ and to be the godly wife and missionary God calls her to be “without a word” who can win him by the respectful and chaste way she conducts her life. (I Peter 3:1-2).

I appreciate her willingness to share. This is a LONG, LONG journey. But God has grown my friend’s faith by leaps and bounds. She has SO MUCH MORE of Jesus than she has ever had in her life. She is even experiencing God’s peace and joy in the midst of this fiery trial many times. It is a difficult battle – she knows that her husband is not her real enemy. And she faithfully stands in the gap to pray for God’s best for him and for God to open his eyes that he might experience the abundant life, peace and joy that Jesus offers to him.

This friend is such a blessing to me. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for her!

28 thoughts on “The Dryer Incident

  1. This is fantastic! The way we handle these situations is so important, when we don’t yell back and go ballistic at our husbands, they sometimes realise and readily apologise, which I must admit is much harder for me to do! Through certain very difficult circumstances and with April’s advice (winning them over without a word, Peter 3, I think…) my husband now comes to church with me, and I am pretty sure has committed to Christ…..at first I couldn’t even handle that positively, I found it hard to believe and trust that it/he was real, but now I am learning and growing…thank God and April for this Blog, it helps me every day to keep trying to do things the right way. God bless the struggling wives xx

    1. JuR,
      Praise God for what He is doing in your life and in your husband’s heart and in your marriage! Thank you for sharing! I know that it was not long ago that you were extremely frustrated and unsure about what to do. I’m so glad you are seeking God with all your heart and seeking to walk in obedience to Him and in His power!

  2. Kelly,
    Ha! That is funny. Your dishwasher needs a timer so that it can come on after the tv is off and before everyone needs hot water in the morning! Some dishwashers are SO LOUD! i know our old one sounded like a dragon was licking off the plates or something and roaring all the time. It was loud in the next room!

    Maybe, for Christmas, you can get him a quieter dishwasher. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Ironically, I feel like I should say more. . . .

    I have never been a yelling, screaming, fighting sort of wife in that manner. We have had very few loud, heated arguments in our marriage. BUT I have been known to be quite the lecturer. .and I think that can be equally damaging. The Bible says a nagging wife is like a drippy faucet. .

    A couple of weeks ago, our daughter climbed up in bed with us to read us a few jokes out of a jokebook she was reading. One of them was this:

    man #1 : “I haven’t talked to my wife in 2 whole weeks!”
    man #2 : “Why?”
    man #1 : “I don’t want to interrupt her!”

    Kind of sad that this is such common behavior that people recognize it as simply a part of life. . .we should be more careful with our words 🙁

    1. fallenshort,

      I didn’t yell and scream either. Never cussed. Only threw something one time – a pair of panties. They were clean! And they didn’t even hit Greg. But – I lectured Greg, criticized him, told him what to do, thought I was always right and he was always wrong, condemned him, judged him, complained, argued was negative, etc… Those things are absolutely damaging.

      That joke makes me so sad!

      Yes, our words have the power of life or death!

  4. Elizabeth,

    Yes, conflict is not the end of the world – it doesn’t have to be, at least! And we can extend grace to ourselves and to each other!

    I love the book Grace Filled Marriage by Dr. Tim Keller – he explains very beautifully how to do this.

    I love your examples!

    I know that I didn’t used to be able to extend grace to Greg- turns out- that is because I hadn’t really received the grace of Jesus for myself before. I didn’t see how sinful I was or realize how much grace Jesus gave to me. And I couldn’t give to Greg, or others, what I didn’t have for myself.

    I’m so thankful for the grace of God!

    My husband says a lot of things like yours does, too. So sweet! Many husbands just want us to relax and enjoy them and not freak out by little bumps in the road. 🙂

  5. Praying like Hannah,
    :). I’m so blessed to hear that my experience is helpful to you as well – LOVE it when our Lord works that way!!

  6. I am new to the journey as well. For so long my husband has told me directly that he feels disrespected but I didn’t “get it”. I didn’t see how my overly helpful nature was actually rooted in my selfish way of thinking I was the only one who could handle the things I was doing. My husband saw through the superficial layer that had even deluded me and had been worn down by my insistence regarding handling everything. Something he said to me the other night finally clicked and I have been pouring over your insights on the blog ever since then. I apologized last night (after watching your video on how to apologize!) and touched on what I wrote in this comment briefly. He looked at me with such light—-almost with pride, like I finally understood his language.

    This post resonates with me because I know I not only face the challenge of changing my language (as April has said, no one is fluent right away), but his perception of my intention will take time to shift as well! My husband has withdrawn in the past but is definitely more reactive now. It takes a lot of work to curb things from escalating. Due to my amount of disrespect he can be quick to assume the worst about my words, actions, and motives. It gets better as we move forward!

  7. Hi everyone! I am blessed by all your comments and stories. 🙂

    I think every “Dryer incident” or similar circumstance wherein we “slip” or “fail” is “beautiful” in the sense that it allows us to always check our hearts. It allows us to always be humble.

    When we are progressing towards the path of holiness so well and not encountering any roadblocks, it is so easy to say “Yes! I have mastered this!” or “Yay! I am finally so good at this submitting thing!” When we slip and fall and show imperfection, and we are NOT as HURT when this happens, this only goes to show that HUMILITY is in us which is the right frame of spirit. BUT, If these things “hurt” us, it just goes to show that the SELF is still very much alive and we have to quell it before it becomes empowered again.

    I liken this to a little child, whom the Lord said we should copy. 🙂 Aren’t little kids who are just starting to walk, cute, even when they stumble and fall? And when they do the little arms up thing, we pick them up and soothe their tiny knees or baby bootie or wherever it was that got hurt. They don’t stay on the floor just grumbling over stumbling and falling, they reach out to us, so we can soothe them immediately… till the next fall!

    That is how we should act towards God. We stumble, we fall, we reach out to Him and like little children, He will carry us with his Arms of Love… till we fall again. Failing is a humbling experience and a way to act like little children before our Creator. 🙂

    It is wonderful that the Lord’s Grace is given in new doses daily! “They are new every morning— great is your faithfulness!” (Lamentations 3:23), so we should not fret, we should not lose hope so easily. Instead, let’s embrace our imperfections because it is these that endear us to God especially when we acknowledge our frailties before Him. Him Who strengthens us and without Him, we cannot do anything on our own.

  8. It took time for Greg to get more involved with the kids and me. It was a SLOW process. Does he do everything I would like him to with us now. Nope. Does it bother me now? Nope. I pray and trust God and Greg to figure out his part. I focus on my part.

    When I started this process, Greg often wouldnt look at me, listen to me, touch me or talk with me and he was extremely unplugged with the kids. I know now that he felt so criticized and condemned by me any time he tried to do something, he eventually gave up.

    Every wife I know has many challenges when she begins this journey… Many reasons she thinks he does not deserve her respect. God’ wisdom is totally contrary to our own. But, He is very good!

    This journey is ultimately not about your husband and his response. It is really about you and God. 🙂

  9. Hmmm. . .our hubbies have some real similarities. ..

    The words you and your pastor heard from your hubby are exactly what we were hearing about 12 years ago from mine.

    To answer your question, yes, things are better now. After a couple of years of him “not believing” or being very far from God, he “felt led” to make a major family move across the state. He moved me away from my hometown, and my immediate and extended families. We also moved away from his family. I was very hesitant, but I totally supported him, telling him I’d follow him anywhere, which remains true today. The move was very clarfying for us in many ways. I think it got rid of a lot of the “noise” for him. His grandparents suggested a church nearby and he LOVED the atmosphere. The music, the sermons, the people, EVERYTHING. It totally spoke to him. Honestly, I wasn’t that moved by it. But it was decent enough and really it didn’t matter because I knew how to feed myself. We stayed there 8 years. Then things went a little stale and my husband, who didn’t used to give a rip whether or not we went to church or which one we went to, made the bold move to leave. And I give him mounds of credit for that. It wasn’t a decision he made lightly and it’s been the best for us.

    My point with that whole story is that I believe many times when people are saying they just don’t believe all that God junk anymore, that is just about the time the Lord picks them up and shows them who He is. Sometimes, it takes a partner with blind faith supporting them. Someone who believes in them when everyone else isn’t so convinced. And for a man, someone who is willing to trust and follow. I don’t want to think of where we’d be if I hadn’t trusted him to make that move.

    I don’t know, sister, what your answer is. I’d suggest focusing on whatever IS good, whatever IS right, whatever IS true, etc., etc. There are things he’s doing right. Seek them out and find them. And praise him for them. A lot of what he’s doing sounds like avoidance behaviors, which are natural if you’re not getting along. If you are unhappy working and he knows it, he may have a tremendous guilt about that. Or he may not want you to be working, but he wants to support what you want at the same time. . .Men are so complex! And communication is so hard sometimes!!

    One more thing: Freedom from the “slavery” you are feeling is in Christ alone. Submerse yourself every waking minute with those reminders. Whatever you do, bibleize it. Trade out secular messages for scripture wherever you can (what you listen to, what you read, what you see). I even hear wal-mart has shower curtains with Bible verses! (I had no idea!) If Christ is for us, who can be against us?? I will continue to pray for you 🙂

    1. Fallenshort,

      Wow!!! This is such a blessing!!!! Hmmm… I wonder if you might like to write a post about this for me? No pressure! but this is such a testament to God’s work in your life and marriage, I love it!

  10. MissySue,

    I am praying for you and your husband. You have a lot of issues that make things much more complicated, that is for sure! But we do know that God is sovereign and I trust that He will give you and your husband wisdom. I pray for healing for you both and for God’s greatest glory in your lives, my precious girl!

  11. When my husband and I were preparing to marry, a dear and trusted person told me that since I was the more “spiritually mature” of the two of us, I would have to take the lead spiritually in our marriage. This advice was wrong. It is sinful rebellion against God’s design for marriage. Please be very careful to guard against thinking of yourself in any leadership role in your marriage. God can and does lead us through husbands who are not believers or who are sinning against us. He is THAT sovereign. We are only called to trust God and respect our husbands. Doing otherwise leads only to grief and pain.

  12. Psalm 40:1-5, 11-13, 16-17 (The Voice translation)

    I waited a long time for the Eternal; He finally knelt down to hear me. He listened to my weak and whispered cry. He reached down and drew me from the deep, dark hole where I was stranded, mired in the muck and clay. With a gentle hand, He pulled me out to set me down safely on a warm rock; He held me until I was steady enough to continue the journey again.

    As if that were not enough, because of Him my mind is clearing up. Now I have a new song to sing—a song of praise to the One who saved me. Because of what He’s done, many people will see and come to trust in the Eternal.

    Surely those who trust the Eternal—who don’t trust in proud, powerful people or in people who care little for reality, chasing false gods—surely they are happy, as I have become. You have done so many wonderful things, had so many tender thoughts toward us, Eternal my God, that go on and on, ever increasing. Who can compare with You?

    Please, Eternal One, don’t hold back Your kind ways from me. I need Your strong love and truth to stand watch over me and keep me from harm. Right now I can’t see because I am surrounded by troubles; my sins and shortcomings have caught up to me, so I am swimming in darkness. Like the hairs on my head, there are too many to count, so my heart deserts me.

    O Eternal One, please rescue me. O Eternal One, hurry; I need Your help.

    May all who look for You discover true joy and happiness in You; may those who cherish how You save them always say, “O Eternal One, You are great and are first in our hearts.”

    Meanwhile, I am empty and need so much, but I know the Lord is thinking of me. You are my help; only You can save me, my True God. Please hurry.

  13. My biggest prayer has been to learn how to love my husband where he is right now without the expectation of change. Let me tell you what a tall order that is, but that is my prayer. Why? Because Christ loves me everyday right where I am at with all my sin and unloveliness. Why shouldn’t I be asked to do the same? Oh, wait! I am!! Love your neighbor as yourself. So many people believe that Christian have it easy or should have it easy; especially other Christians, but that is not what we truly signed up for. Do you think if people fully understood what they “signed up for,” would they still want it? I wouldn’t think twice. I’m sticking with Jesus!

    1. Melissa,

      You definitely get it! Marriage is a bit like a class on love – and this is the lab portion. Our husbands give us a chance to practice godly love on a sinful person. God gives us the tools and training in His Word, the power by His Spirit and then we get to practice in real life. God uses marriage in this way to make us more and more holy and like Christ.

      Love it!

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