When my best intentions get me into my biggest troubles!!!

Andrew was having a hard time yesterday; he was really tired and wanted to escape into a computer game. But he had homework to do first. He struggled to stay focused, trying not to let me see the crocodile tears that dripped down his face. He didn’t have that much homework. I knew something more was going on. Something else was brewing in his thoughts that had to do with some friends. He’d been hinting about it all day but not flat out saying it.

JJ was sitting across the living room watching a football game while also kind of aware of what was going on with us. I had an idea of something that would cheer up Andrew, but I also thought what Andrew needed most was for his dad to recognize what was going on. I thought JJ should turn off the tv and “engage” with his son. It wasn’t happening, and in my mind I was not thinking very honoring thoughts towards my hubby. I invited him into the situation by suggesting he turn off the tv and come over to talk with Andrew.

It all got messy at about that time. JJ felt insulted. I felt frustrated. He finally just said, “Tell me what you want me to do.” I wanted him to take Andrew to do something fun, manly, and distracting like shooting the bb gun in the woods at glass bottles that will explode. I wanted it to be JJ’s idea but couldn’t get him to read my mind. If I told him, it wouldn’t mean as much to Andrew. (Such female thinking!)

Finally, I gave in and said, “When he finishes his homework, why don’t you guys go shoot the bb gun?”

Andrew smiled so big and said, “Okay!” The tears were gone and so was my husband. He was very frustrated about how things had unfolded. He felt dishonored for the way I handled it all – how I said it and when I said it (in front of the kids). I felt so misunderstood!

Feeling very convicted that I needed to honor my husband’s perspective, I remembered something I learned this summer while reading the book of Esther. Esther was chosen by the King to be his new wife because his first wife, Vashti, had dishonored him. The king’s advisers insisted that he remove the Queen from her throne because they were afraid her decision to dishonor the King would influence other wives to dishonor their husbands. God reminded me that the way we treat our husbands has great influence on others. It influences the kind of women our sons will look to marry. It influences the way our daughters will speak to their husbands. And it influences how our friends might talk to their husbands after hearing how we talk to ours.

However, my pride kept reminding me that I had the best of intentions. I thought so highly of my husband that I wanted him to be the one to speak into Andrew’s hurts and right whatever was wrong. But sometimes the best of my intentions can get me into the biggest of troubles!!!

I wonder if that was what happened with Vashti. Did she think hers were the best of intentions when she dishonored her husband? Maybe she was trying to prove a point that seemed good to her at the time.I used to think the ramifications she faced were a little harsh. But when I looked more closely, I realized how far reaching her influence was when she dishonored her husband.

After I cooled down a few hours later, I asked God to show me how to honor my husband and change the influence I had on my sons that had witnessed the whole “discussion.” The Holy Spirit nudged me to say I was sorry even though I had the best of intentions. I needed to say it – “I’m sorry for dishonoring you.”

Now, let me tell you – it was hard! I wanted JJ to say he was wrong, too. But that wasn’t God’s plan. He wanted me to just apologize for using a tone and timing that dishonored JJ, and leave it alone. JJ even told me that is what would make him feel most honored. So, I eventually swallowed some huge chunks of pride and apologized.

My pride was so hard to swallow but it went down a little easier when I remembered that honoring my husband honors God, and also influences my sons who will one day look for wives that I hope will honor their husbands, too. (It also helped that I really love my very patient husband and don’t want to dishonor him – I just don’t deliver my thoughts very well sometimes.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. I have such a hard time with this. My problem is just selfishness. I get so wrapped up in”Well, he should know better. Why doesn’t he do his part?”, that I completely forget the honoring part. Thank s for the reminder.

  2. JottinMama says:

    Yes. My husband is the most patient and kind man I have ever met – and yet I often times don’t honor him the way I should (in my words, my attitudes, my thoughts, and my actions) – even though he SO deserves it.

    Thanks for the reminder today!!

    Have a great week!

    Blessings,
    Kate 🙂

  3. Oh so humbling, isn’t it? I have, unfortunately, had my fair share of opportunities to tell my husband, “I’m sorry for not honoring you.” Thankfully we have husbands who can forgive and a Wonderful Savior who will allow us to use our human sin nature to reach out and encourage our fellow sisters. I wrote a blog recently titled, “By these Stripes” which discusses just such a time in my own life. I used it as an illustration in a recent bible story that I was teaching.

  4. I would have to echo what Jottinmama said, and add it would be doubly hard in the situation you described because being misunderstood is is totally my achilles heel. In your situation I’d be so busy being hurt over being misunderstood that I probably wouldn’t notice my own offense.

    Thanks for the reminder. I appreciate your transparency; it’s hard enough to admit these things to the people involved, let alone the rest of the world.

  5. Not only did you swallow your pride by apologizing, you shared your experience with the rest of us, which also honors God and your husband. This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately and look forward to reading the story of Esther to sink God’s Word about it into my heart. Blessed by your blog as always!

  6. Ah Renee, I’ve been guilty of the same thing. I could picture your scenerio so plainly, only we are in my family room, my husband watching some sporting event on TV while sitting in his favourite blue chair, and my son and I within ear-short as I tried to meet my sons needs, all the time longing for my husband to intervene. I wonder, is he aware of what’s going on and doesn’t want to get involved? Is he listening and thinking I’m handling it OK? Is he waiting to be asked? Is he oblivious to the entire thing? Sometimes I will just say, “Honey, I need some help here.”

    Thanks for the encouragement today. As Tracie shared in her devo and post today, parenting isn’t easy, and couple that alongside our marriage relationship, and home-life brings it’s ups and downs. So thankful we can take everything to God in prayer. Your humble example here has spoken volumes of your love for your husband and your love for your Lord.

    Blessings,
    Joy

  7. Renee Swope says:

    Oh friends, please don’t think I was humble. I wasn’t. It was all God. I was just going through the motions of obedience to what He was saying I needed to do. Not defending myself does not come easy. I hate to be misunderstood. I hate it when I say things the wrong way and wish I could get a do-over. I just felt like God wanted me to put it out there on my blog today because as women we need to be real and encourage one another in the messy places of life, especially. Satan uses these kinds of things to divide husbands and wives, parents and children, friends and family. I hope that somehow my confession will touch a heart, and heal a hurt by leading someone else to say “I’m Sorry” – those are two of the hardest words to squeeze out of our mouths but boy are they freeing – eventually. I pray that next time I will keep my mouth shut, invite my husband to another room to talk and not try to orchestrate so much in my own ways.

    Thanks for your encouragement. I am so glad God’s mercy is new EVERY morning!

    Hugs,
    Renee

  8. Laurie Ann says:

    Thank you for such a great reminder to honor our husbands in all that we do and say. It’s hard sometimes, especially when we are stuck in ruts or expect them to be mind-readers, but it’s what we are called to do! Thanks for a great post!

  9. Great words Renee and I appreciated the comment you wrote as well. We do need to be real and that involves complete honesty. My 98 year old grandma passed away last night and in our 7+ years of marriage thankfully this is our first family death. It is amazing how different husbands and wives, men and women deal with this. As my emotions seem to be getting the best of me, I’ve been at the place of “he should know” a few times today, so yes someone out here needed your reminder. It was me and I thank you, Job will too I’m sure!!
    Blessings, Jill

  10. Great words Renee and I appreciated the comment you wrote as well. We do need to be real and that involves complete honesty. My 98 year old grandma passed away last night and in our 7+ years of marriage thankfully this is our first family death. It is amazing how different husbands and wives, men and women deal with this. As my emotions seem to be getting the best of me, I’ve been at the place of “he should know” a few times today, so yes someone out here needed your reminder. It was me and I thank you, Job will too I’m sure!!
    Blessings, Jill

  11. Elizabeth M Thompson says:

    Renee, thanks for reminding me to honor my man today. I am married to a great guy–my perfect match–and yet I sometimes fail to honor him in touchy situations. Like you, I want to build my man up and set a great example for my children.

    I am grateful that God’s grace covers me and His Spirit nudges me to be the wife and mother He created me to be.

  12. Oh Renee, right there with you girl. I had to apologize two weeks ago for dishonoring my husband when I felt he was clearly in the wrong. He was, but I was wrong for making a bad situtation worse. Pride is so ugly and it’s bitter going down. But after, what a relief!

  13. Lelia Chealey says:

    Renee..
    It is so cool to read your honesty here. Seriously it would be so much easier for you to just look like this perfect little wife and yet you show us that you are just like us. I LOVE THAT! Thank you so much. I really needed to read this post. When our son was younger, I always came up with great ideas for Gene and Aaron's bonding time which caused so much tension with Gene & I because I wanted things to go my way.
    Oh. Thank you thank you.

    Also…thank you so much for your sweet encouragement on the YES to GOD study. God is just so good and is really teaching me a lot through these studies. If you ever have anything you want us to study please let me know. I would love to host it on my blog. You P31 women are welcome anytime. We'll be doing Micca's book in February and I can hardly wait!
    Love you,
    Lelia

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