My husband, Jason, greatly enjoys watching football.
So, every year around this time we have a similar conversation to the one we had Sunday driving home from church.
“I guess you want to football tonight, huh?”
“I would just love for you to say that you want to spend time with me.”
“I would love to spend time with you tonight while we watch football.”
“I can watch some of the game this afternoon.”
“No, you don’t have to.”
“What if we watched one of your shows tonight… by the fireplace!”
“I know that is not what you want to do… I am second choice to football.”
“I want to spend time with you tonight.”
“You are only saying that because I brought it up so it doesn’t count.”
Normally, the conversation ends around this line. I spend the remainder of the day pouting while my husband tries everything short of recounting his love of the sport to regain my favor. This year, however, Jason caught me off guard when he said,
“Darby! You are not giving me a chance to change! I am willing to meet you, but you have to meet me.”
I wanted to refute his claims, but remained silent because I knew he was right. I had never thought about it before, but he hit the nail on the head when he claimed that I stood in his way of changing. I refuse to accept when he has a change of heart. I can try to blame my nonacceptance on hurt feelings, but often it is the combination of my stubbornness, need for control, and a hidden desire to want a reason to be upset. When written out, I admit that my reasons don’t hold water. I say that I want my husband to change, but I intentionally hinder his capability to improve.
I sabotage my husband’s ability to be a better spouse.
I originally planned on writing a blurb about what the correct responses should have been throughout our conversation above, but honestly the conversation should never have taken place!
When did I grow so insecure that my husband’s enjoyment of football became a measuring stick for his enjoyment of me? When did I become so selfish that I will no longer watch the games with him? When did I become so entitled that I scoff, “too little, too late,” at my husband’s offer to make yet another sacrifice?
With this harsh truth staring at me in the face, I can’t help but wonder if the same is true in my relationship with the Lord?
Do I sabotage his refining work in my life by assuming I don’t need to change? Do I limit my spiritual maturity by holding onto a grievance against God rather than surrendering to his divine plan?
I stunt the growth of my two most important relationships! What a scary and humbling realization. Oh, how I need the Lord to transform me!
Do you ever stunt the growth of your marriage or faith?