"Although that fleece isn't flattering, I bet it's really warm." ~Super Husband
Yes, my super husband, my perfect gift from God, said that to me. About a fleece I was wearing. In the car. On our way to work together. Past the point of possibly changing my clothes. Did it hurt my feelings? Yes. Did he mean to hurt me? No. But I love the way Dennis Rainey sums it up:
No other human relationship can approach the potential for intimacy and oneness than can be found within the context of the marriage commitment. And yet no other relationship can bring with it as many adjustments, difficulties, and even hurts. ~Dennis Rainey
It's Easy to Hurt the One You Love Most
No one on this planet have the ability to hurt you more than those you love the most. As you become more vulnerable in your surrendering journey, the opportunity to be hurt becomes greater. As Laura Doyle, author of The Surrendered Wife, writes in Chapter 16: Admit It When You're Hurt, "All husbands say hurtful things to their wives from time to time." All though you aren't responsible for what he says to you, you are responsible for how you reply.
That morning in the car, I could have retorted with a reply to hurt him back. But I figured I had two choices to pursue intimacy in this moment:
#1 Remember what my mom always said, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."
#2 Tell him that his comment hurt my feelings.
That morning, in that instance, I chose option #1, because honestly, I knew the fleece wasn't exactly the most feminine thing I could have chosen from my wardrobe that morning, I opted for comfort over fashion that morning, and even more honestly, it was a PMS kinda day.
Be a 1 Peter 3 Woman, Say Something Nice
Having this kind of understanding and being able to respond this way didn't happen overnight. Yes, I admit it, I am a 1 Peter 3 woman. In 2004, when I learned of my husband's long term adultery, a pastor's wife guided me to 1 Peter 3, and I've been praying it, letting the Holy Spirit use His Word to shape me and change me, to transform me into the woman and wife God created me to be. I'm not there yet, I still blow it, but KNOWING IS HALF THE BATTLE. From 1 Peter 3, in response to my husband's innocently careless words, I chose to be NICE:
N: Never Return Evil for Evil: When your husband says something hurtful, whether he was intentionally hurtful or not, don't retaliate. That's how full brawls start, and both of you end up bruised and battered emotionally. Some people enjoy the opportunity of a fight so they can vent...venting is contrary to God's Word. Choose to not engage that way...
I: Instead, Return Blessing for Insult: Responding differently to your husband will cause him to do something different. The best way to stop the crazy cycle is to be kind and gentle.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. ~ Proverbs 15:1Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. ~Proverbs 26:4
C: Called to Inherit a Blessing: Yes, you were created to inherit a blessing! It's your calling!
E: Encourage: Yep, that's right, say something nice. Encourage your husband when you least feel like it. What did I say in the car that morning? I thanked him for the fleece, after all, it was a gift from him. :)
1 Peter 3:8-12 Amplified:Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble). Never return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing [praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them]. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God—that you may obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection].For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good—whether apparent or not] keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit). Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. [Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!] For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God), and His ears are attentive to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who practice evil [to oppose them, to frustrate, and defeat them].1 Peter 3:8-12 The Message:Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.
Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, Here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he’s asked; But he turns his back on those who do evil things.
NOTE: One thing I want to mention here is that yes, I am disappointed that with all God has to say about the role of wives and submission, the author doesn’t cite any scripture, yet manages to quote Buddha. It’s still a great book, it still lines up with God’s Word, the author’s frankness was a practical wake up call for me…I just wish she’d embrace and share that God is the author of surrender.
In case you've missed it, this post is part of a series following along with The Surrendered Wife. I'd strongly encourage you to pick up the book and read along! Catch up on the blog series now by reading: Control or Intimacy, Did You Marry a Loser?, Chauffeur or VIP, Shhhh!, Crazy Resentful, Your Heart's Desire, You Bought a What?!, Just Say Thank You, Girlfriends, Button Pusher, Expectations, a Wife's Role, It's Okay to Say I Can't, Naked But Not Ashamed.
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