Many years ago, we had a New Years’ Eve party at our home. Snacks, games, and a bunch of our friends from church filled our house and the last day of the year. I was my typical snarky self, tossing out one-liners and zingers all evening, not thinking a thing of it.
A few days later, one of my friends who had been at the party said to me, “My husband thought you were a jerk the other night.”
O-kay. No one wants to hear something like that. Especially someone who hadn’t even begun to work through her “I just want everybody to like me” issues.
I was immediately defensive, and had no idea what she was referring to. “What do you mean?”
She didn’t want to go into details (then she perhaps shouldn’t have said anything in the first place, one might argue), but she eventually did.
“To your husband. You were mean to him all night. Totally putting him down left and right.”
I wanted to tell her all the things that had just happened that week…all the arguments, all the hidden things that had been uncovered, all the ways I felt I couldn’t breathe anymore. If she only knew, then maybe she’d understand. Then maybe her husband wouldn’t think I was jerk.
But you know what? I was a jerk. I really was. I don’t care how I was treated or what was really going on behind the scenes (well, I do, but you know what I mean), I had no business being disrespectful to my husband, let alone in front of our friends. What a horrible example I was to the other women, what a mismanaged way to handle my feelings, what a shame that I wasn’t choosing to be a sweet fragrance in my own home, what a way to dishonor Christ.
I remember that night and I’m embarrassed. I remember words I’ve said over the years and I’m ashamed. I wasn’t taking care of my emotions in the right way…I wasn’t taking care of them at all. I was totally stuffing them, trying to fix things on my own, and then, when I least expected it or wanted it, they would come out all over the place, on the people around me.
I don’t want to be a jerk. To anyone. Ever. So I need Jesus to keep coming in and reordering my world. If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here.