Daily Devotional | A Magnifying Glass

nHave you ever met someone and thought to yourself, “Man, how can they not see how they act?” Their bad behavior seems to blatantly glare for all to see; except they seem blind to it. I have. In fact, sometimes I don’t even want to be around that person. Usually I think to myself, “I sure wish someone who is close to them would share how they come across.”

When we are small, our parents hopefully began sharing with us early on that our bad behavior was unacceptable. God, in His infinite wisdom, put family and people in our lives to help us to expose our flesh. I know that for me, this is true. When we spend a lot of time with people we are able to see those faults much more easily; it is a lot like a magnifying glass.

We have a choice. We can balk at the “help” or we can accept it. I find it interesting when I hear my own children state that they have found working through certain character issues of their siblings (both dealing with their sibling/s and themselves on the things their siblings pointed out to them) has helped them with their spouses. It was an area that we really pointed out; that God didn’t by accident place all of us together in a family and that we are supposed to learn and grow to be more like Him every day. Much time was spent on discussing these issues and behaviors; as well as how we should speak to each other.

This should not stop when we get married. I often feel like a magnifying glass for my husband.  When we were dating, I remember him sharing things with me as well. It was mutual and I really felt like I could learn. However, when we got married I noticed a shift. He became very defensive when I shared things with him, he was harsh with me when he shared things with me, and he was hypocritical when he demanded more from me in areas. When we had children, things didn’t change for the better. It got worse.

I know often we women are told to “build up our husband’s ego,” “don’t nag,” “make our husband’s feel like a man,” etc., right? But, I would like to challenge this way of thinking. Let’s go back to my original statement. People are not naturally inclined to see their own bad behavior. We are defensive and sinful. God shares in His word for us to hold each other accountable. It also states in Genesis 2:18, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”

Who loves the husband more than the wife?! She is going to be the perfect one to help him see how he does not look like Christ. I found that I was becoming frustrated and hurt when I observed and shared with my husband his sin nature and he was not receiving that as help. Eventually I became angry and that made me upset at myself for behaving in an unChrist-like way. Not all women show their frustration and hurt in the same way; some will withdraw and shut down.

But, the good news is that my husband became involved in Christ Quest Ministries and developed a quest to become like Christ. He began to value my words as help and saw me as part of “his team”, not as his enemy. The more he became like Christ, the more my anger left. The more he became like Christ; the more I wanted his help to lead me more and more to Christ.  Ephesians 5:21-33 is a famous passage that many refer to for helping with marriage. The verse that usually gets overlooked is verse 21, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” I was able to really see this verse in action. The more Tim submitted to God, the more I wanted to submit to him; ultimately taking us both closer to God! How wonderful it is for me to look at my husband and know that to anyone he comes into contact with, that he will be representing God better. I know that he cannot see his areas that don’t look like Jesus easily and I love that he welcomes me to get out that “magnifying glass” to help him. What a difference it makes even in my heart and approach when I know that he will welcome my help; I don’t have that anger or frustration. We are just two people trying to learn how to be more like Christ together! We are a team!

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One thought on “Daily Devotional | A Magnifying Glass

  1. Wendy

    God is so good to me and I am overwhelmed and so grateful for His love, goodness and mercy to show Himself when I most need it. This post came to my e-mail box on a day that I needed it most. I just needed assurance. I was again questioning whether I had the freedom/right biblically to have feelings (imagine that) or to share with my husband about issues in our marriage that he was being angry and sullen about. I always feel like the enemy even though I don’t think my husband would ever describe me as a “nagger”. I am careful to not bring up every thing that bothers me. I take a lot to the Lord and other things I just let go. Some things are just personality differences and I’m happy to allow for that freedom. He is usually the one who gets angry/sullen/cold because one of his needs isn’t being met the way he wants. His complaint cannot be that I am not trying or that I am lazy. It can’t be that I don’t seek and desire to be a godly wife and mother. He can’t complain that I am selfish or that I don’t try to meet his needs, but he can only complain that I don’t meet them 100% of the time the way that he desires. He is definitely not deprived in the average sense. When he treats me with kindness and love I have more of a desire and it is easier, when he does nothing to give, but only takes, it is harder. I’ve gotten to the point where I am honest with him and tell him, I really don’t feel a connection with you, and my desire is low. I need to connect with you on a level outside of the physical in ways that have meaning for me. A lot of the time I feel used and taken for granted. It seems to always get turned back around on me. He has a hard time hearing about things that I may need to feel closer to him, usually just small acts of kindness, helping when I am tired, keeping his anger in check and talking instead of sulking/silent treatment. These are just a few small things that make a big difference. I work very hard to serve my family and I give until l am empty. When I am tired or not feeling connected, I get met with anger because I don’t seek him out for relations. Its not that he asks and gets turned down. Its that I don’t initiate. He wants to make some sexual comment, I guess as a hint which is a real turn off. I spent over two years being the only one to initiate and it made no difference. If I was ever a day short it was met with anger/sullenness. He was happy to take and never give and still he would get angry because it wasn’t enough. I quit initiating, now I pray that God would give me the right godly desire to be with my husband. When it is right I do initiate as I have always done, but when it is not right, I wait patiently and without anger. Recently he made some progress that gave me hope for the first time in 13 years of marriage. He was seeking God and humbling himself, he was actually looking for little ways to serve me, instead of the other way around all the time, but he’s gotten busy with life and quit seeking God. I don’t get angry with him for being busy and not connecting, I understand and give him room to do what he feels he has to do, but he gets angry at me if I don’t drop everything for him. He will make some comment in the morning about how we need to spend time together tonight and get mad at me when I don’t initiate that time later. I usually don’t initiate because I am still working getting the kids off to bed, getting ready for homeschool the next day, dishes, laundry, etc…. That would be fine if we would work together to get the stuff done. He takes regular naps, he works at most a part time job and goes to school part time. He still has time to have his hobbies and spend a lot of time on the computer. By the time I get done, I am DONE. I go all day, I don’t always have the luxury of stopping, when I do ask for help with the kids he often puts them in front of the TV to babysit them while he does other things. We were doing really well, I think even he would agree. Now we are arguing about the exact same stuff. He is sullen, cold and unkind because he wants his needs met, but he doesn’t want to have to give anything to the relationship and his anger/coldness pushes me further away. I really have no desire to be with him, and yet I struggle with wishing I could just give him what he wants and not be torn up inside in the process, but I’ve gone down that path and it eats at my soul. So here I am again struggling with the need to be honest with my husband about our relationship and yet knowing I will be treated like the enemy, but your post gives me hope, to just hang on a little longer. Just keep speaking truthfully in love, praying and not taking on more burden that I am not meant to carry.

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