This morning, when I checked our email, I realized two messages had come from our library reminding us a long list of books were due in two days. These messages had come last Thursday while I was in Greenville at a conference. I think I’d seen them, mentioned them pretty specifically to Keith, etc. & he said he was taking the kids to the library, etc. & would handle it. Low & behold, for what ever reason this morning I reopened the email, checked the books listed & then the library cupboard to find the shelf stuffed with all these books that are now three days overdue. Now you have to understand, my husband & I are tight with things like this. We do not spend ANY money on videos, always check to make sure our library stuff is up to date so we don’t pay fines, etc. So this was a big deal – instantly putting almost $5 on my card!
My first reaction was just that, a reaction. “WHAT???? Didn’t I REMIND him??? What do I have to DO??? Can’t anyone else take responsibility around here????” Etc. Luckily, this was all done in my head, the kids were asleep upstairs, & the boys/Keith were already off to school. I was so close to picking up the phone, knowing Keith was on the way to school yet, & “remind” him of how the list of books had NOT been taken back, etc. etc. etc. : [ After my initial inner rant, I got to thinking, I’M the one who took Callie & got all these books. I can’t be 100% sure I told Keith about THIS list of books (we get lots of stuff out of the library). AND, this is the email that I check, Keith doesn’t. It really is my fault & I don’t have any right to blame Keith for any of it. AND, it really is no big deal because in a few weeks, the library is having its annual “Read Your Fine Off” week where you sit & read there at the library & for every hour you get $5 knocked off your fines. No biggie!!
There was absolutely no harm done, but God reminded me of something. I am SO easily swayed to think negatively over such minor things! And guess who’s planting those negative thoughts toward my husband in my brain, do you suppose? Of course Satan wants to get me all up in Keith’s grill first thing in the morning – it drives a wedge between us ruining the picture of marriage God wants to show the world, puts both me AND Keith in bad moods distracting us from the Holy Spirit working in & through us to do whatever He wanted to do today, just to start the list!
I am NOT proud of this little story, but I put it out there to illustrate how QUICKLY we women can let Satan use our emotions to do some big damage. DON’T LET HIM!!! Today’s dare is this: EVERY time you have a negative thought toward your spouse today, recognize it, identify who it is that’s putting those thoughts in your head, and turn it around. Do not sit & stew over all the things you wish your husband was, did, etc. etc. Those unmet expectations are killing your relationship! Speak TRUTH to yourself. Say it out loud even. Tell Satan to beat it! Remind yourself of what is true. In my example from this morning, I reminded myself of how it really was MY fault, but then reminded myself of how MUCH Keith had going on over the weekend, what a SUPER dad & husband he is, AND how he never blames me for things like this. He is SO gentle & kind & patient! If he ever has thoughts like these about me, he never verbalizes them – what a blessing! I want to be that blessing back to him.
You & your husband have other issues & you have other situations where you start to think negatively about your man. But it really doesn’t matter the details. The bottom line is still the same: Satan wants to trash your relationship because it’s a special reflection of God. He wants to use your thoughts to do this. When negative thoughts pop up, set your mind on Philippians 4:8 – “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” It’s TRUE that my husband is… It’s NOT true that he… Call Satan out on it. Stop the negativity right in its tracks. Don’t wander down that path with your thoughts for even a second!
Bonus dare: This is the same dare, only kicked up a notch & harder to do, but my husband is good at it & it is POWERFUL, so I share. The next time you’re in a heated debate with your man, do the same as above only out loud. STOP it as soon as you realize what’s going on. Recognize what Satan’s doing there with your relationship & call him on it. Keith has said, “Satan’s messing with us here. Let’s pray!” If you’ve never done that before, you will be AMAZED at how fast that defuses whatever issue has gotten heated up. Satan is alive & well, folks. And he’s messing with our marrages. It’s time we wake up & call him on it.
Song by Seeds Family Worship. Video by ??
John 17:15-22 – “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—”
PS – Along the same lines, though not about our spouses, I’ll add this second example of how quickly our thoughts can be skewed. 95% of the clothes we get for the children is from Once Upon a Child (a second hand store with awesome clothes!). I have always been thrilled with what the Lord has provided for us – exactly what we need & more – after our biannual trips there. Because of a uniform jumper I purchased for Callie three years ago, we got a Land’s End Kids catalog in the mail the other day. No big deal. I like their clothes: rather plain (vs. cartoon characters all over them, etc) & well made. I thought I’d thumb through it quickly to see what the new fashions are for our daughter since I really don’t keep up with those things very well. Cute stuff!! It took all of two minutes flat for my mind to be down the road of discontent. “Sure wish WE had money to wave a magic wand & get whatever I wanted for our kids out of this catalog.” etc. Incredible!! It’s not just the obvious women’s magazines we have to watch out for. Satan will use anything! Watch out for him! I put the catalog down & started speaking truth to myself: we have NEVER wanted for anything! Keith, by God’s grace, makes plenty enough money for our family. God has always given us over & abundantly all that we need & more. This is the TRUTH. The discontented spirit was a pack of lies Satan was whispering in my ear. That time, I stopped him. : ] Be on the lookout for his wily ways.