Tag Archives: complaining

Marriage: It’s Not a Competition

I talked my sister-from-another-mister Chrissy into sharing some wisdom on the blog today while I’m on vacation! God bless you sis for putting it out there for us! I love her┬áteachable heart – we can all learn something from this post. Give her some social media love and check out her blog about being a merchant marine wife!
I’m not a competitive person by nature but I’ve found myself competing with my husband. It started after I gave birth to our oldest daughter. I would get angry anytime he would call and complain that he was tired or worked hard that day.

“He has no clue!”
“At least he gets to sleep in peace every night!”
“How dare he call and dump all of his problems on me…he clearly has no idea how worn out I am!”

When we had our second child it only got worse. I became more bitter. I found myself angry at him but yearning to connect with him at the same time.

Marriage is not a competition
Thankfully God gave me some gentle nudging toward how selfish and wrong I was! I took a year long course called Biblical Womanhood this past year and my biggest takeaway was that my husband and I were created differently with different roles in mind.

Nurturing is in my DNA. I don’t have to try very hard to love my kids. It comes naturally. Those daily tasks I want to complain about so much… the middle of the night nursing, the endless laundry, the toddler tantrums, the same bedtime routine every night, the exhaustion… it’s just part of the package. In truth, my dream package. I’ve never had more fulfilling work than being a mother. Yes, it’s work, but it comes with a deep satisfaction.

Now my husband on the other hand. He has this huge weight of being the only provider for our family. Our entire livelihood hangs on his decisions every day. One wrong move or bad call and he will probably end up without a job (best case scenario) in jail or even dead. He sometimes works 24 hour days on a steel deck in blizzards and 15 ft seas. He goes without eating or sleeping if the job requires it. He is away from his entire support system for weeks at a time.

So when he calls to unload or tell me how tired he is, why am I angry?! Don’t I want to be that person for him? Would I rather he call someone else to vent about his day?

Instead of competing with my husband for who had the hardest day, who got the least amount of sleep, who works harder/longer. I want to help him up. I want to appreciate what he does for us. He showers me with appreciation. I get messages like this all day long:

“I don’t know how you do it. You’re amazing! Our girls are so lucky to have you!”
“I’m praying for you babe! I hope you get some good sleep tonight.”
“How was your night? I have a long day ahead but I will call as soon as I can!”

And he does.

So when that call comes, I want to love him, encourage him, respect him. I want to listen to what he went through. I still share my struggles but it looks less like a competition and more like two best friends catching up.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Chrissy DoucetChrissy is a Stay-at-Home mom of two and wife to Merchant Marine. She sporadically updates her blog with posts on family life, healthy living, fitness and the occasional recipe.

Quit Your Whining

We have the sickies.

The stomach virus that might take over the earth. This thing has infected everyone we have been in the same room with. It’s bad news.

Samuel’s bout of the virus was actually the least severe, thank God. But me? Saturday, I was laid out and could not keep one morsel of food in my stomach. I was thankful that God planned a day for us where Brad didn’t have some pastoral commitment, because he was able to take care of Samuel the whole day (except for the breastfeeding of course).

In spite of the terrible showing by my Texas Rangers, I was able to keep about ten peanuts down Saturday night. Sunday morning, I was extremely weak, thirsty, and hungry.

And Brad reminded me he was on setup that morning and had to be at church early. Ugh. OK… no problem, I’ll make it. And he was home to help get ready for our Halloween block party before I knew it.

The block party went great, but by the end I was worn out and so glad a night of sleep was coming…let’s just say it didn’t come as planned. As soon as we walked in the house, Brad announced that he was pretty sure he had gotten the death virus.

I was up with Samuel a couple of times in the middle of the night and was still not fully recuperated when I had to get up with him on Monday morning. My back and neck were aching, and I was exhausted. But I knew Brad was ill and that I would need to manage the best way I could.

God gave me spurts of energy through the morning, and Brad even had a couple of bursts himself. But I found myself ignoring him and complaining in my head.

Sigh. The one time I’m sick and could actually use the rest more than usual, Brad is sick too, and so who gets to take all of the slack up? Me. Of course. I’m the only option. The buck stops here.

I pushed the thoughts down as I took Samuel outside to play. While we were out there, I might have let him put a leaf in his mouth that he started choking on. So I turn him over and slam his back while he throws up on my feet. No problem. Baby is OK. I take him in to change his clothes and realize that his diaper had leaked while he was in his crib. Now I have to change the sheets. And you know how difficult changing crib sheets are. It’s like putting a celebrity-award-show-gown on a killer whale.

Brad came in to take Samuel for a bit while I changed the sheets, and I found my mind going back to that place of lies. And immediately, relief came, and my mind redirected.

Do everything without grumbling or arguing (NETBible, Philippians 2:14)

Wow. This has not been me…for quite a while.

And it’s not just about being long suffering because it makes you better than someone else. Rather, this should be an overflow of the awe evoked by our Savior and His work on our behalf. Paul reminds us of this in verses 5-11. And verse 13 says that God is “bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort.”

Praise God that I don’t have to believe the lies that say I deserve help or should be lauded. On the contrary, I deserve nothing, and my Savior has still taken my punishment on Himself so that I can spend eternity with Him.

Holy God – You’re amazing! I am nothing! You’re everything I want! I pray that I can reject the lies of this world – only for Your truth.

P.S. Check back Thursday for the Purpose Series, Question 2