Photo by Gerrie van der Walt on Unsplash
As parents of a 16 year old, we are in the midst of driver’s training at our house. Our son is doing really well. We hope he will have his license in the next month or two. We have given him my husband, Greg’s, 1997 Honda to drive. So far this school year, I let him drive on the way to school so he can try to reach his mandatory 40 hours of supervised driver’s training. Then I drive home or to work from there.
Recently, I drove the Honda to work and everything was fine that morning. But when I was ready to leave the pharmacy at 6:00pm, the engine wouldn’t start.
That is life sometimes, isn’t it?
An unexpected trial comes out of nowhere. How will I handle it?
Seems like this has been a theme in our family this summer. And we continue to come back to this:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
So here is a new real-life example. God is so good to provide me with opportunities to grow in my faith and to live out the principles of His Word. Then I get to share them with y’all!
I texted Greg to let him know that I was stranded and that I thought maybe the battery could be dead. He was about 30 minutes away and had just dropped off our kids at church. But the second he found out that I was stuck, he was on his way to help. He had a battery charger and tried multiple times to jump the Honda’s battery.
So our night looked like this:
- Greg then drove me to our house so I could eat a very quick supper.
- He took some tools with him and went by the Advance Auto Parts store and got a new battery.
- I picked up the kids from church in my car and took them by our house.
- Greg replaced the battery on the Honda and still the car wouldn’t crank.
- He found a YouTube video about what to do if the starter goes bad and he hit the starter with a hammer 3 times and got the engine running – and was surprised that actually worked.
- He drove the Honda to our friend’s car shop.
- I met him at the car shop and we drove to my work so Greg could get his car.
- We both got home around 9:00pm.
Years ago, I would have had a pretty negative, complaining attitude about the whole ordeal. I would have lashed out at my husband – as if he were the problem. I probably would not have shown much gratitude. I would have been exasperated and felt like the night was completely ruined because things didn’t go as I had expected.
But these days, I have a different mindset – thanks to the changes God has been doing in my heart.
SOME THINGS I DON’T WANT TO DO ANYMORE
- pressure, push, or try to control him.
- freak out.
- have a critical spirit.
- lash out at him.
- raise my voice.
- have a negative attitude toward him or toward the situation.
SOME THINGS I WANT TO DO NOW
- ask for things respectfully.
- smile at him.
- be flexible.
- thank him with words and actions.
- use a friendly tone of voice.
- appreciate him in my heart and thoughts.
- seek to be humble.
- speak up respectfully if I think I may have important information to share.
- pray and invite God to do something beautiful and powerful in the situation.
- look for blessings and good things about which I can be thankful.
- give him the time and space he needs to think and problem-solve.
- seek to be cooperative.
- maintain a positive spirit and attitude – by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- sing songs of praise to God in my heart.
- call Greg, “my hero!”
I respect Greg’s abilities and the gift of his time and that I can depend on him when I am in dire straits. He is glad to come help me. I make sure to tell him and show him how much I appreciate all of his help.
How blessed I am to have someone in my life who is willing and able to help me when I am in a bind.
These days, I have a different perspective on trials. I can, in the power of Christ, remain calm and completely peaceful. Cheerful and joyful even. I can graciously receive Greg’s help and appreciate the things he can do so well that I am not very good at. I can be patient. I can maintain my sense of humor and fun.
If the Holy Spirit is in control of my life, God promises to give me His power to respond with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23) even when things go wrong.
The night doesn’t have to be ruined!
We can enjoy being together and be thankful that we are a team and that we have each other to call on when something goes wrong. A night like this can be something that helps to strengthen our bond and bring us greater unity. It can be a beautiful, powerful example to our children of how parents can work together with respect and love. It is a chance to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit to our children in a time that could have been stressful.
The way we choose to handle a trial like this could even become a wonderful memory for the whole family.
If God has empowered you to respond with joy, peace, patience, and a good attitude during a trial in your life, we’d love to hear about it. I’m sure it would be such an encouragement to everyone.
Please do keep in mind that you may have different things to be thankful for in your life. That is okay! All of our husbands don’t have the same talents, abilities, personalities, and gifts. All of our relationships are different – and that is good. We are at different points in our journey, too.
But we each have things for which we can be thankful. And God has good plans for us all – to make beautiful masterpieces of our lives. He is working in all of us, who belong to Him, to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ!
This is very encouraging. I have found that I tend to make every little inconvenience or unexpected issue a huge deal. I guess I haven’t even realized how my attitude and actions have been disrespectful and I think I definitely feel entitled to my husband’s help, like of course he just has to be there. It’s really nice to see that there is a different way of being that would make the whole thing more pleasant.
Just this morning the issue has been having our package delivered and left on our front porch. We have had issues with some people who visit across the street stealing packages off people’s porches. This has happened to us twice. We are having a chair delivered and the scheduled delivery is for today when neither my husband nor I will be home. I have been freaking out trying to think of ways to change this. My husband said it is not worth the stress of overthinking it and we just need to let it go at this point (have tried calling and put in a request, not guaranteed, to deliver Friday instead). The suggestion of that was appalling to me and I freaked out saying that was so irresponsible and careless and it always falls on me to be the problem solver….etc.
Then I read this post and was able to see how I have this expectation that my husband is the one responsible for the solution to this problem and that if he has a different opinion than me it is obviously because he is careless and irresponsible (he is definitely not).
It is hard to know exactly how to think about it and what my reaction should be, although I am convicted that it should be different than what it was. Any thoughts or other perspective would be greatly appreciated!!
It is so great to hear from you! Yes, sometimes just knowing that there is a healthier way to think about a difficulty or to approach our husbands is a big step in the right direction. <3 Many women don't have many godly examples and have never seen another approach modeled.
Obviously, you have a valid concern. You don't want your packages to be stolen. That is frustrating!
And it is totally fine to say, "I'm not sure about having the chair delivered when we aren't here. That doesn't seem like a good idea to me. I really don't want it to be stolen."
I love that your husband wants to try to help you have peace and that he is trying to lead you in a godly way.
It's sometimes wise to share your concerns and then to say, "If you feel this is best, I am going to trust you on this."
I wonder if you might have some time to pray about things (I assume you are a believer in Christ?) and to read the two linked posts on the bottom of this post. Perhaps God may impart some wisdom that may greatly bless your own walk with Him and your marriage.
This does not have to be a disaster. It doesn't have to be a huge ordeal. It is actually possible to trust God and trust your husband in a situation like this. And to invite God to do something beautiful through it for His glory.
If the chair gets stolen - pray. Again, invite God into the situation. And allow your husband to share his wisdom. God is powerful and able to do amazing things when we turn to Him in trials.
(Of course, it may not be stolen, and all of that anxiety may be completely a waste of spiritual energy.)
Something that helped me a lot was to realize that the issue at hand isn't really the biggest issue or the most important issue. In the perspective of eternity, what happens with something like the chair is a small thing. But what will matter forever are things like my faith in God, my motives, my attitude, and my approach toward my husband in a difficult time.
The chair thing is a test. A spiritual test.
It may be that God wants to use this issue where you are so filled with fear and anxiety to help you learn to trust Him and to relax in Him. It may be that He wants to use this situation to transform your marriage for the better and to help you become a more godly wife. It may be that this is an opportunity to repent of the hurtful things you said and to thank your husband for his leadership and for his different perspective.
Could be that today becomes a spring board to incredible spiritual growth in your own life and much greater unity and beauty in your marriage.
I am praying for you, precious sister!
I posted something last week on my FB page about that when I react in fear, I always make destructive decisions in my life and in my relationships.
You are also welcome to search my home page for “fear.”
Yes, I’d love to share!
I live with and serve along side this brother as missionaries on the same compound. We all share the kitchen and living room area and I had been in charge of buying house groceries. For a time food was scarce in our area and we could not find meat and other basic items in the grocery store for weeks.
One day early, this brother road about 3 miles on his bike to a local farm and brought whole chickens that had already been killed and bagged. We were able to freeze the meat and enjoy good chicken meals!
He’s a great guy and I’ve had feelings for him for a while and we’re good friends but it wasn’t always like that. Before God started revealing to me certain insecurities, disrespect, and a real neediness that consumed me, I would resent good things that this guy did because I automatically thought, “I couldn’t have a good guy like that,” or, “he’d never like me,” and even “well, yeah he should at least do such and such.” So I would close up my heart and put a wall around it out of fear. Anytime I saw anyone genuinely enjoy the blessing that this guy was I would feel more resentment and I could not express genuine kindness to him.
Now, as God has continued to open my eyes and heart, and has brought wholeness in my life (though I’m still a work in progress), I have learned to bring my thoughts captive, recognize lies, and experience peace and joy that comes from healthy thinking…thinking on what is true????. So, we are now good friends and I am able to see and accept the blessing that this brother is, and really show gratitude for things he does! And I can communicate joyfully with him instead of in fear or timidness (because of some real issues with how I related to guys that the Lord was revealing to me). It’s really been a journey and a work that God has done deep in my heart and it is exciting! I’m grateful for this friend/brother in the Lord. And more grateful for the healing God has brought to my life and heart!
How wonderful to hear such an amazing update from you! What God is doing in your life is truly beautiful.
Thank you so very much for sharing!
Once again, your post is very timely. My little inconvenience has been interior painting in our house. I don’t like the disorder or the chaos this has caused and I have continued to try to control the situation every day this week and have been less than respectful when interrogating my husband about how we will handle this or that during this time. Before I even read your post, the Holy Spirit had been working on me to change my attitude. This confirmed it!
In the grand scheme of things, this is but a temporary bump in the road and it’s not even that. How fortunate are we that we can afford to hire a painter and my husband doesn’t have to break his back doing it himself? What a great reminder to stop and be thankful and remember to approach my husband with respect. Thanks again!
I guess over the course of our 24 year marriage, we have probably had 10+ solid years of major house renovations. I feel you on this! I love for things to be organized, neat, and clean. I like the house to look welcoming and not to be messy, dusty, and dirty.
For over 6 years at our current house, we always had at least 600 square feet of space tied up in renovations. Thankfully, the house is big enough that there are other places to be.
Interestingly, God used all of this a lot in my journey over the past 10 years. He has taught me to go through renovations with patience and respect for my husband – appreciating what he is doing for me and for our children, appreciating his abilities, and extending grace. If I am willing, all of these frustrating inconveniences can become a training ground for me to grow spiritually.
You are already seeing things in such a beautiful new way. I love it!
Can’t wait to see what the Lord will continue to do in your heart. And how wonderful to have a husband who wants to help make the house look beautiful for you.
As a man, fixing a stranded car with tech help is still a mission to fix something. Disrespectful actions by my wife or others seems to be a part of post modernism and while we may or may not fix our own situation, disrespect of husbands, parents, teachers, police and others is so widespread that it seems unstoppable.
I know it can be so discouraging because disrespect is so rampant.
Praying for you today, dear brother.
Thank you April for this post. I so appreciate my husband driving me places because I don’t drive. I’m careful not to have an ” entitlement ” attitude as some women are. I also appreciate how gets the creepy crawlers that get into our little cottage home without complaining.
Love this. Thank you for sharing. I’m thankful for people who go after the bugs, too. Especially the big palmetto bugs (roaches) in South Carolina!
I think this is a good article and appreciate many of the tips you offer to wives on how to treat their husbands respectfully and how our reactions to the situation can impact not just the couple but the family, but as somebody who recently celebrated 32 years of marriage I disagree with you on one point It absolutely is a husband’s job to help their wife in a situation like this and my husband agrees when asked that this is so. The Bible is clear that husbands are called to love their wives as Christ loves the Church and there would be nothing loving about not helping out a wife who’s car is broken down whether it be they themselves coming or finding some other solution. That doesn’t mean a wife shouldn’t have an attitude of gratitude for the help as well as patience if it doesn’t go smoothly. However, I don’t believe that a wife having the expectation that they can always count on their husband in a time of need should be seen as them feeling entitled, so much as them feeling secure that they are protected and loved by their husband the same way they are by Christ.
I appreciate you sharing your thoughts!
I actually didn’t mean to imply that husbands shouldn’t help their wives. I think it is very reasonable for a husband or wife in this situation to call his/her spouse first. I think we should be able to count on our spouse in a time like this. Totally agree with you!
Greg has always come – unless he was out of town and couldn’t get to me – when I have had an emergency.
What I was trying to describe was that I personally had an attitude of entitlement in the past. I was not very appreciative when he would help me in a situation like this. I was snappy, irritable, and frustrated and would lash out at my husband as if he were the problem rather than look at him as being on my team.
I hope that clarifies things a bit.
I’ll edit the post.
I do understand what you are saying and agree that in many situations an attitude of entitlement is not good at all and can be damaging to the relationship and yet it can be easy to fall into that mindset.
I just wanted to make sure that any younger wives wouldn’t feel they are wrong to feel they should be able to depend on their husbands in genuine times of need such as a car breakdown.
Of course that certainly doesn’t mean any of us are entitled to have a spouse handle a situaiton exactly the way we believe they should or that gratitude for such handling is unnecessary and yet I’ve been guilty of both a few too many times and this is a good reminder!:-)
I am so thankful you shared your concern.
I want spouses to be able to depend on each other – that is part of what marriage is about. Greg and I always call each other first when there is an issue like this.
I definitely want wives to feel like they can depend on their husbands in times like these and – at the same time – show gratitude instead of taking their help for granted.
Have a wonderful evening!
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