Sunday, April 14, 2013

Why do we nag?

I've been thinking a lot about this.

What is our role as wives? I know we act like our role is to pick apart outfits, clean up messes, maybe nag a little about doing all the housework alone, never getting candle lit dinners and chocolate. As women we hate that we get labeled a "nag" and are regarded as always complaining. Why is this? Why ARE we always complaining? I have a couple of ideas, though they probably won't be what anyone wants to hear.

1. Maybe we complain because we want something done? HA! That sounds simple enough right? Do any of you have a husband that responds positively to constant complaints by doing everything on your nag list? I sure don't! I wouldn't think that would be an easy task, to constantly want to bless and help a complaining woman. The bible is specific about this trait in women "Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife" Proverbs 21:19. Ouch right? I don't know about you but the stuff i catch myself starting fights and nagging about is usually things I could have accomplished myself in fifteen minutes and saved both of us the emotional stress. In my experience all complaining and nagging accomplishes is making your husband feel like dirt, wasting an hour arguing, and having no real change to show for it.

2. It is also quite possible that we are just trying to manage everything. Sometimes we look at our husbands like they would drown without us there to constantly take care of everything, but is that even the truth? I know in my own case, my husband is MORE than capable of handling everything without me. Sure I have had more practice juggling a lot with housework and the kids, but on days he has at home with them I always come home to giggling and stories of epic adventure, where he somehow got them to eat something they won't even try for me and they slept for two hours and haven't fought for more than a few minutes.
It's control. I HATE when I'm not controlling something. That is a difficult thing for me to admit, and I'm not the kind of woman that bosses her husband around kind of control, the kind where I've got everything micro managed to keep it all in balance- things that are my job really; cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, mailing bills, doing laundry, all that stuff you're doing as well. If i can keep it all balanced just right than I can stay on top of all of it and feel accomplished. That also means that when someone, like my husband, comes into the mix and throws it off by asking me to sit down with him for a while ( why is that so hard?) I just get frustrated because it will back me up on my list for hours (heaven forbid right)! Thus it can turn me into a nag because I'm constantly talking about all the "stuff i have to do to manage this house" and making him feel like I don't think he does anything to help. That is definitely not how i feel but by always explaining away why i won't take a break I am inevitably making him feel like he is less important than all of my tasks.
 Like the story in the bible when Martha is cooking dinner for Jesus and the disciples and Mary chooses to sit and visit with Jesus instead of helping her sister. Martha gets frustrated and asks Jesus, " Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do all the work myself? Tell her to help me!" The Lord answers, " Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed-indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken from her." (Luke 10:40-42)  I feel like this goes for spending time with Jesus, but also with your husband and family. They are more valuable than the tasks that need to be done. Though some of us express love in our service, if the one we are loving receives love with quality time and physical touch, than our acts of service are actually painful for them because we ignore their need to accomplish our own goals.

Over the years I have been at a lot of baby showers, three of my own ;) and wedding showers, and at each there has been a time when the experienced women share their thoughts and advice. Each and every time I have heard by more than one woman, " Don't worry about cleaning the house, you won't get to the end of your life and say to yourself  'gee i wish I'd spent more time doing chores.'" I don't think that means keeping your home clean is something you shouldn't care about, but I do think the value of it needs to come after the care and quality time with those you love most. After all, our calling in this world is to go out and spread the love of Jesus, and that is done through more ways than cleaning and micro managing.

Since I moved across the Country I've really had to step out of my comfort zone to meet new people and try to make friends. If you know me very well, my family are my best friends and I generally feel complete with that. But the Lord is seeking to stretch me out of that small bubble and reach out to others, so he moved me! Anyway, I've had the opportunity to pick up a lot of things about the marriages of other people and the struggles they have. One thing is common throughout, it seems the women are always trying to be Eve! What I mean is, wasn't it arrogant and out of place for Eve to think she knew better than Adam and pointed him to the apple? As women I have generally noticed that most of us are trying to lead out husband around on a leash showing him what we think he should buy, eat, how he should exercise, when we will give him sex, what vacations he should work overtime to pay for and heaven forbid he spend his own money! UGH that is our job! Am I even a little bit right ladies? I know this is a struggle for me too, as it is human nature for us women to want to struggle for control. "I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." Genesis 3:16

So on the other side of this what do we have? How do we get things done, mention when we need help, and relinquish the control we think we have? There has to be a better way of communicating with our husbands than nagging and there has to be a better way to respect them in our attitudes and actions. After all, "However, each one of you must also love his wife as himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Ephesians 5:33

The Lord put us together to do more than procreate. We are intended to be a dynamic team, and inseparable force, a representation of Christ's marriage to the church, hope that unconditional love can be fought for. We were meant to bring each other UP not pull each other DOWN. Adam was created first, and before Eve he was given a job, a life calling and a goal that was specifically made for him. I believe our husbands are that way as well, before us they were given a calling and something to do- we were added to that to become an asset, an encourager, to bring something to the table that wasn't already there. We see our husbands weakest moments, the most vulnerable fears and concerns are gently laid in our hands and ours alone. It seems like abuse to be constantly nagging at the man who is trying to lead us to the Lord, accomplish what he's been called to do, and is laying down his life for our family. There has to be a way that we can be as we were created to be, to gently hold his heart, bring words of affirmation and confidence, assure him he can take on he world and turn it upside down if he wanted to. If we're not doing that then who is? Their boss? nope. Their kids? unlikely if they are young. Their parents? Maybe a little. But it was only given to YOU as YOUR job to stand by him.
He is an eagle, ready to learn to fly. He knows he was created for greatness somehow and that he was meant to soar but he cannot fathom HOW that will happen. Are you going to be the rope that ties his feet to a root in the ground telling him he can't do it? He won't succeed so why try? Are you the woman who stands at the door and scoffs at every idea and threatens to do something irrational if he doesn't do what you want?
Or will you be the woman who builds her Eagle a perch from everything around her, builds it with care and structurally sound, building supports and stairs and even a railing in case he needs to hold on one last time before he tries to fly. Are you going to be the woman that builds her marriage with encouragement, confidence, hope and love so that when he is finally ready (not when we tell him he is!) he will have a structure so beautifully built that he will KNOW he can do it!!!

It seems harder than it is. A simple decision. What kind of wife will you be? Will you let go of your own ideas and thoughts of what he needs to accomplish and let the Lord whisper to him the greatness he was born for? I want to be the woman that works endlessly to build a foundation of love and understanding for my husband so that when it comes time for him to walk through that door to his own potential I will be ready to help him learn how to fly!

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