There I was like any other Sunday morning, answering curious little questions from my 4 year old, responding to little comments from my 2 year old, instructing him not to climb on the chairs and telling her not to crawl under the pews. I was balancing my six month old on my hip while juggling the needs of potty breaks, instructions, corrections, nursing and diaper changes. My arms were tried, my patience thin and my stern “I mean it!” look didn’t seem to have its usual magical powers of cooperation from my littles.
I began to feel sorry for myself.
I rationalized my poor attitude toward my kids and my brewing anger towards my husband with the idea that I needed to be worshipping God in the front of church like my husband was. I thought highly of myself as if I was above serving my family by being mommy during church because why else would I have come to church but to worship God through the music and listening intently to the Word? I began to think super selfishly and self-righteously. It was bad and dangerous. At the end of worship, my husband (who is either in the worship band on Sundays or standing right up in the front fully engaged) came back to where our seats were and greeted me with a smile and a kiss like usual. I knew he had just been worshipping God, 100%, and I could see the peace and love all over him from being in God’s presence. My husband is a worshiper. I don’t know how else to explain it – his love for God and who He is, what He has done, His faithfulness, goodness, greatness, all of it – is expressed most easily and purely in musical worship to our Father. My husband doesn’t hold back. He’s learned to just worship God with every bone, muscle, fiber, and ounce of energy he has all to glorify and bless God.
With my bad attitude in tow, I tagged out of mommy-hood, let my husband watch the older two and retreated to the Mommy Room to feed the baby. A new mom was in there and when asked how I was doing, I quickly complained. I made it clear how frustrated I was and in my uppity attitude explained how my husband was clueless and that I needed him to help more like her husband does. Justifying myself in my head, I started planning a time and conversation regarding my offense with my husband and how to make sure a Sunday morning like this didn’t happen again. My thoughts came to a crashing halt when my sweet friend kindly said in a very humble tone and almost whisper,
I’d give anything to see my husband up front worshipping like yours.
Boom. The train crash my thoughts just made was loud! I was mentally stunned. It was a glass shattering reality. It hit me hard!
I had a horrible attitude and anger toward my husband. Why? Because I thought I was too good to be mommy all week and Sunday too, I guess. Because I put my needs above his. Because I started comparing my relationship to others. I had an ugly attitude and it was definitely not pleasing to God. Yes, moms need a break sometimes, too! And yes, I was still going to mention needing more help Sundays from my husband. And I know my husband would selflessly be on board with whatever I needed! But right then and there I realized that the grass isn’t greener on the other side… It’s green right in front of me!!
One of my most favorite attributes and the most attractive thing to me about my husband is his ability to abandon himself and worship our God wholeheartedly! I am so thankful for that! When my husband spends time glorifying God and blessing Him and pursuing God, we are stronger as a couple, as parents, as a family and just all around better.
Why was I complaining, again?!
I was wrong. I repented and ask God to forgive my stinky attitude towards my husband, then I asked my husband to forgive me, as well. I realized that what I have in my husband is unique just like my friend’s husband is unique. They are meant to be a team and work together just like me and my husband are. When we compare ourselves and see greener grass than right where we are, it is dangerous. Doing so leaves the door open for discontentment and won’t bring about anything good. In 2 Corinthians 10:12, it says we are not wise to compare ourselves. Bottom line. When it comes to issues I have in my marriage, I try to follow these rules:
1. Give of whatever it is that you desire. If you want more of little, random, thoughtful gifts of affection, then start giving little, random, thoughtful gifts of affection! If you wish your husband prayed out loud for you more, start praying out loud for him more! Doing this doesn’t necessarily mean my husband will pick up on whatever it is that I am doing, it just starts making me feel really good about investing into our relationship more. And sometimes these things catch on!
2. If you notice you have a bad attitude toward your husband regarding something, examine how others might see it as a positive. Can you see it as a positive thing in your life? Sometimes what is bothering us the most is just our way of perceiving it when the reality is that we must change first. Sometimes the grass is green right in front of you, not on the other side.
3. Pray about areas in your relationship that do need adjusting. We all change with time and the beauty of marriage is the ability to change and adapt with each other throughout a lifetime of adventures. If you need to bring up a sensitive subject, first pray about the subject, then pray about talking with your husband, and then talk to your husband. Just like Queen Esther in the Bible, she presented her request to her husband after much prayer! Prayer is important no matter how small of an issue.
I hope these three ways to combat discontentment will help you in your marriage!