Years ago, there was this one time, that I had what I believed to be a GREAT idea (I’m gonna spoil the ending here a little bit and tell you upfront . . . I WAS WRONG!).
Our youngest children were just turning four. We were finally past the intense stages of the terrible twos, and what I call the triple traumatic threes (far worse then the twos for certain), and our family was finally settling into a calmer, easier season.
That is until the urge happened. Now come on mamas, you know the urge, it’s the one that happens once your youngest baby starts to go off to preschool . . . the “I want another baby urge”.
Well, in prior posts, I may have made mention to the fact that my husband is a very wise man. So after we had the twins, which were numbers four and five in our rank of children, my husband and I both COMPLETELY agreed that we should take any medical/surgerical assistance necessary to ensure that the numeric ranking in our home did not continue to rise. (Ladies, once you start spitting out two at a time, and you are already maxed out at five . . . you fix that horse. Trust me you just do.)
So when the baby urge crept up, it did not take long before I realized that that just wasn’t gonna happen. That ship had sailed, those gates were closed. This is when I really started to grasp the understanding that my husband was wiser than I had previously assumed, because he knew I would be all too quick to agree on stopping at four and five, right after giving birth to four and five! He wasn’t going to wait a few years, he just knew me all too well.
With no “conceivable” ability to carry out and satisfy the “I want another baby urge”, I quickly moved to an alternative plan that would hopefully appease my desire, and that was the . . . “I want a puppy plan”. This was that “GREAT” idea I was talking about.
Surprisingly, however, my husband was NOT in favor of this “GREAT” idea. It was about to be summertime, and as a teacher my hubby was looking forward to a fun and less stressful summer at home with his newly manageable children. Training and attending to a puppy was not on his list of things he wanted to enjoy that summer.
After multiple conversations, and numerous attempts of him trying to explain his thoughts and feelings on this, he finally got so tired and frustrated with me he said, “Diane, just do whatever you think is best.” In my mind, I decided that this meant I had his approval . . . “WRONG AGAIN!”
I proceeded without his blessing, and with complete disregard for his feelings, and purchased the puppy. I am fairly confident that I can say he had never felt more disrespected and wounded by me in our whole marriage.
For two weeks I went to work and he stayed home and took care of the puppy, that by the way, acted exactly like a puppy (he cried all night, peed everywhere, and put everything in his mouth that wasn’t suppose to be there). It was like having a baby without the fun! And to top it off my husband that is typically a very open, affectionate, and talkative man, shared few words with me over those days and wore the constant look of hurt and betrayal in his eyes.
Never had I felt so convicted by my selfish actions as a wife. I had put my wants and desires above my husband. I had foolishly tried to enforce my agenda, and not once did I take into consideration how that would affect our marriage. Nor did I ever consult with the Lord about what I should do prior to purchasing the puppy.
After fourteen days of living in this sin and feeling so disconnected from my husband, I couldn’t bare it any longer. The price I paid for that puppy, to appease that silly urge, was far too great. And I was left wondering, “how do I fix this mess?” (Have you ever been there? It’s a dark place.)
I’m glad to say that the Lord was patiently waiting for me to turn to Him, and once I did, I started to feel the burden release and steps of restoration appear. I realized that my unwillingness to submit to my husband and to God, only left me with a lonely, tired heart and a half chewed up, messy house.
My husband was also patiently waiting to receive me, silently praying for the day I would reconsider my choices, my poor behaviors, and sincerely ask for forgiveness. When that day came he was gracious to forgive me, and even refused my offer to return the dog. After all, it really was never about the dog, it was all about whether or not I was willing to love my husband as God has called me, sacrificially and submissively.
He just wanted to know that he was a priority, that his feelings mattered to me, and that as a wife I would respect his wishes, even if that meant at times I set mine aside. Turns out he was doing a much better job at sacrificially loving me than I ever deserved.
Although this was a painful experience, I am still thankful for the “TRULY GREAT” lesson I learned through this lapse in my character. The Word says “Do nothing from selfish or empty conceit, but with humility of mind, regard one another as more important than yourself.” Philippians 2:3
This is what sacrificial love is. It’s the love that Jesus has for us, the love that took him to the cross to lay His life down for us, even while we were insensitive, selfish, and ungrateful.
In marriage and life we have to ability to act as Christ and love sacrificially. Come back next week as we learn more about this “GREAT TRUTH”, and until then may His love abound in you and your marriages, carrying and directing you over all the days.
If you are wondering how things played out with that puppy . . . it’s almost six years later. He is truly “man’s best friend”, and to date he continues to only chew my personal belongings, and has complete respect and reverence for every item my husband owns. Figures! 🙂
Here is a pic of the best buddies with the twins:
Diane Swan is a Professional Christian Counselor, Speaker and Blogger who is passionate about using her God given gifts to assist ladies in living victorious lives in Christ. She enjoys sharing true life messages that relate to the complex lives of every day women and leaves them feeling equipped to be more than conquerors in all their battles. Diane and her husband Todd are the founders of Seven Swans Ministries, an organization devoted to living out the gifts of the Spirit by offering a unique array of services to encourage, edify and expand God’s kingdom. Connect with Diane anytime: [btn text=”Facebook” tcolor=#008000 bcolor=#FFF link=”https://www.facebook.com/sevenswansministries.org?pnref=lhc”] – [btn text=”Twitter” tcolor=#008000 bcolor=#FFF link=”https://twitter.com/sevenswansmins”] – [btn text=”Pintrist” tcolor=#008000 bcolor=#FFF link=”http://www.pinterest.com/sevenswansmins/”] – [btn text=”Website” tcolor=#008000 bcolor=#FFF link=”http://sevenswansministries.org”]