As startled awake sometime after 3 AM, my anger was almost as palpable as the laminate floor. The air mattress which had been my bed for the past two nights was deflating rapidly since I’d failed to seal it properly. I clumsily got up and fastened the seal, inwardly counting the hours until I’d have to wake my oldest for school.
For two weeks our family had battled rounds of sickness and I wore my tiredness like an emblem across my eyes. I used it as an excuse for my poor attitude, my snippy tone, my lack of attention to details and anything else I could. Now my husband had strep throat and I was doing everything in my power to keep the rest of the family from getting it.
Since he had refused to go to the doctor when his first symptoms of illness emerged, I hung this fault over this head like a dark cloud, reminding him that I had told him at the first of the week to get checked for a possible infection.
The morning after my fight with the air mattress, my oldest son stopped me in my trek of self-righteous anger. Five-year-olds have a staggering way of doing that.
“Mama, do you have to take care of Dadda since he’s sick?”
I hung my head in shame. Yes, I should have been taking care of him. Instead, I was whining and using his mistake as a reason for my behavior. Was I really mad at my own husband for being sick?
When I promised to take care of him in sickness and in health, I don’t recall an addendum that said, “when you make wise choices.”
Sometimes our obsession with being right becomes the sin that blinds us to our wrongdoing.
We convince ourselves that because we are right, we don’t have to apologize. And then the pride sneaks in and blinds us to the truth. And the truth is that any act which isn’t done with love does not reflect Christ.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
Transforming my mind is a discipline. It does not come naturally, or simply because I want it to. I don’t know about you, but once I start complaining, I find it difficult to stop. I sink deeper and deeper into my self-induced pit of pity until I don’t know how to get out.
My five-year-old’s remark was the trigger for me to snap out of it. Because they’re watching. Each and every day, they are modeling my behavior, my tone, and my words. As he keeps his eyes on me, I’m filled with a huge sense of responsibility.
I want to raise a child who respects and loves his spouse as Christ loves the church. And to do so, I must start in my own home.