26 Comments

  1. Ok, I am so relating to this but in a different way then what you talked about; you have touched on something that my husband I have talked about, the controlling your emotions part. My husbands favorite thing to say when I tell him that something he has said hurts me is that it’s my choice to feel that way.
    Let me tell you how much that bugs me! I feel like it is a cop out for him, a way for him to not take responsibility for the things he says. We even teach our children to not say mean things and yet I read over and over how no one can make me feel such and such unless I give that that power ( like your quote above).
    I agree with that- to a point; my question is what about all the Bible has to say about the power of the tongue? James 3 talks about what a little member it is and yet it can start a great fire and then there’s all the verses in Proverbs.
    I am working on understanding this but its hard!

    • Stacey this is such a good question and one I’m still grappling to understand. I relate with everything you said and my husband and I have gone rounds and rounds over this issue. He says/does something. I’m hurt. I lash out. “But I didn’t mean to hurt you.” And it feels like a cop out.

      Here’s a few things I have learned.

      While it’s very important to take control of your emotions, it’s still okay to feel. But part of controlling your emotions is understanding WHY you feel that way (much as I described here). Often “guilt” or “hurt” are simply other emotions in disguise, such as insecurity, not feeling loved, fear of abandonment, self-frustration at your own shortcomings. Often if I’m struggling in an area (such as laziness, not be as responsible with housework) and Russ mentions something about the messy house, I react in hurt – he hurt me. When in reality I am angry because he has touched on something I’m painfully aware about myself. THAT’s what I need to really address.

      It’s very important for us to tell our spouse how we are feeling. And we are affected by them. But we cannot blame them for our feelings. It’s a very fine line.

      Scripture is clear that there is power in the tongue and we should be kind, gracious, honest, etc, but it’s also important to remember that two wrongs don’t make it right. No matter how mean, inconsiderate, rude, or hurtful your husband is to you (and whether it was intentional or not), you still have the responsibility to react in kindness*. Be honest about your anger, frustration, fear, or whatever you are feeling, but self-talk – remind yourself of your standing in Christ, your relationship with your husband, the love that you share, and that you still have a responsibilty to control your emotions and not lash out in response.

      It’s not easy. This is my biggest struggle, not just here as I posted in comparing to others, but in my marriage this is HUGE and most of our fights revolve right around this issue. It’s a long, hard road and I’m still learning!

      (*I must clarify this by saying I in no way condone of verbal abuse, that is very much another matter and must be addressed and confronted, preferably with a neutral third party involved.*)

  2. thank you for sharing this! i understand exactly where you are coming from…exactly! we are very much alike, you and i 🙂 one thing that God has taught me, specifically through Stephen, is that none of us have the same path in life and the only thing that matters is whether or not we are walking with our Savior. while there are some who think their path is better than others because of circumstances or their life or their choices, not everyone is called to do the same thing or have the same life. i’ve realized, albeit slowly, that where i am at right now, the life i have, the precious child i’ve been given, the good, the bad, and the ugly, is all part of God’s calling on MY life only…not anyone elses. where you are Aprille, the husband you have, the child you have, all of it – that is God’s special plan and purpose for YOU. it doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing, or even whether they think their way is better or the “right” way…what matters is that you are walking with Jesus and are allowing His Truth and Grace to permeate your existence <3 i love you friend, and i think you're wonderful!

    • Thank you; you have given me some great things to think about. I can see how my reactions are really are just part of my own feelings of guilt or that I am just assuming a meaning that isn’t really there at all.
      And I know your right; I am responsible for how I react to what I feel are hurtful comment I am just trying to line that all up with Scripture as well. By the way; my husband and I argue over this all the time too.

      • I think men overall can sometimes simply be ignorant to the tender sensitivities of women. But, I think a lot of women (at least I do) tend to excuse their lack of control of emotions and blame it on the guy, or hormones, and refuse to take responsibility for the fact that sometimes we are just as out of line as they are. I catch myself in this act all the time.

  3. Brittany L

    Amen… I don’t deal a lot with this personally, as my personality tends to be more the independent, I don’t care type, but that has its issues too. Often now I just deal with a lot of grief and jealousy over the fact that others of my friends have their babies and I don’t have Samuel. 🙁 In some ways it is similar, yet in others very different.

  4. I can definitely relate to this. I struggle with these emotions – sometimes because God needs me to so I do get that push to move forward and sometimes because I just let myself get caught up in emotions that are truly mine, and I need to let go. My blog is actually a big one for me. I always feel very insecure about it and compare it to others and then try to defend it. Then I remember I’m not meant to be like anybody else, which means those reflections of me aren’t going to be like theirs, either. Yet, I still find myself reminding myself and praying about it almost every day. I just have to remember to keep “looking up” because ultimately, as long as I’m following Him I’m doing the right things.

  5. Reading this, 2 Corinthians 2:19 came to mind:

    But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

  6. I love how you brought up feeling like someone “made you feel” like something right at the very end. We always like to blame our emotions and reactions on other people – how they responded, how they communicated their choice. If they just would have said it a different way, then you wouldn’t have gotten mad. But the truth is that no one makes us do anything. Situations reveal parts of our hearts that were hidden. We’re often secretly insecure, or jealous or self-righteous and reading about other families’ choices brings that to the surface.

    Great post!

  7. Aprille,

    Once again, it is a God-thing that I read this post. I am struggling right now with feelings about choices other moms have made, and I feel rejected by their choices (and we aren’t even close friends). Emotions can go nutty, if we always play the blame game. I think this is an area that the devil loves to get control of because we are so easily manipulated by our feelings, if we don’t submit them to God and ask for wisdom.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    • I totally agree. It is SO easy to be manipulated by our feelings – but we MUST control them before they control us and our relationships! Thanks for commenting!

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