I am no fashionista… in fact, putting an outfit together takes more effort and stress than I care to admit. So, you can imagine my surprise when I found a dress at Target that I truly liked. In the fitting room, I quickly imagined myself wearing that dress with some white leggings I had seen at another store only the day before. So proud of my fashion find, I confidently grabbed a bottle of matching blue nail polish before checking out. That following Saturday night, I painted my toes to go with the stylish dress and leggings I had laid out. (Do you realize that this was going to be the first Sunday morning (in the history of ever) where I had my outfit ready to go?!)
Fast forward to Sunday morning… I quickly put on my dress and then asked my husband the usual, “How do I look?” His response was less than desirable… he asked if I had it on backwards!
Let me take a brief minute to introduce you to my husband. His name is Jason, and he is the sweetest and most genuine person I have ever met. He never says things with the intent to hurt. He was honestly asking me if I had the dress on backwards because of a cut out in the front which he isn’t used to seeing (at least not on anything I wear… again I am not stylish). He continued to say that he liked the dress, but was a little “thrown off” by the said cut out.
At that moment, I had two choices:
- Be grateful that he took the time to look and tell me the truth when I asked him what he thought. I so often wonder if he says, “you look great” without even looking at what I have on, and this was proof that he answers my question honestly rather than routinely... that deserves a celebration! I could take his comment in stride and explain that the dress was on properly. I could remember that my husband said nothing with ill intent and make sure my response was equally as innocent.
- I could pout. I could dramatically act like his response hurt my feelings and then quickly change my outfit and say a snide comment such as, “well I don’t want to wear an outfit people will think I have on backwards.” I could mope about, making sure to point out that my blue toenails don’t match my 2nd choice for an outfit. I could offer to return the dress altogether.
Guess which option I chose?!
That’s Right… option number 2.
If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you are familiar with my policy of sharing my mistakes. Occasionally, I will post a marriage tip or highlight my correct choices, but for the majority of my writing, I avoid that. Writing about my own weaknesses has been my style since the publication of my devotional and I hope it always remains so. There are plenty of other bloggers out there where one can go to for advice and inspiration. I, on the other hand, am a place readers can go to learn what not to do. Don’t do option number 2!
Can I be brutally honest with you? I didn’t pout because my husband had hurt my feelings. Nor did I pout because I was disappointed about his response to the dress.
I pouted to control him.
I knew my husband didn’t mean anything by his “is it backwards?” question. I believed him when he said the dress looked good. But, I opted to pout, change my clothes, and make snide remarks because I knew that would make him feel worse about his response and thus, he might try to make it up to me. Talk about selfishness! In fact, I even had an inner dialogue with myself that entire morning about why I shouldn’t be pouting and yet I chose to anyway.
I chose wrong… all. morning. long.
Do you ever find yourself trying to control your husband? Perhaps you seek your control through withholding sex or bringing up past mistakes… Maybe you master in snide remarks, the silent treatment, or ugly facial expressions as a way to get a desired response. I have been known to try all of those, but pouting is, by far, my “go-to” method. When I don’t act angry, but rather hurt, my husband tends to give me more attention and thus I have been successful in controlling him.
This speaks poorly of me… not of him!
I don’t want to be a wife who is controlling. That isn’t God’s original plan for women whom He created to be their husband’s helpmate. The desire to control my husband stems from my sinful nature, but that excuse doesn’t justify the behavior. I want the Lord to be pleased by my actions and the motivations behind them! I want to honor my husband in my motivations as well. If that is truly my desire, I must confess my controlling tendencies to the Lord… and to my husband (and publicly on the blog). I must strive to love my husband so deeply that I quit trying to control him with my pouting.“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.” ~Proverbs 16:2
So thankful the Lord made me aware of my controlling motives through that simple Target dress!