Handling Stress & Your Spouse

I was setting up my eleven-year old for his writing assignment, making sure my seven-year old wasn’t goofing around during his virtual tutoring session and my toddler was bouncing around the house. I had just gotten out of a meeting with one of my children’s tutors and I was feeling overwhelmed. Then, my husband called. “Did you wipe down the tub?” he asked. “I wanted to take a bath after I finished the yard work.” “No,” I replied rather abruptly and proceeded to ramble off about all “I” was doing. Overwhelmed or not, I did not respond as I should have to my husband. I shouldn’t have been so quick to reply. I did not listen to “understand,” I simply “replied.” In a matter of seconds, I had disregarded his request.

Although I did not have ill intentions, the truth is, I had been selfish. Shortly after hanging up the phone, the Holy Spirit convicted me. How would I have felt if I was on his side of the phone? Ouch! I sauntered outside across our backyard to apologize and make things right. When “I” was feeling overwhelmed. “I” gave reasons why “I” felt too busy. “I” did not acknowledge what my husband needed from me. Even when we don’t have the mental, physical, or emotional capacity to do something for our spouse, what we can do is lovingly acknowledge and validate their needs or concerns.

In the midst of taking care of daily responsibilities, our spouses often catch the brunt of our stress and selfishness. But none of that should ever be an excuse to continue acting selfishly. Your spouse is God’s gift to you. Your wife is God’s daughter, and your husband is God’s son designed specifically for you! Don’t take your spouse for granted. What you take for granted can leave your relationship vulnerable and weak. And more importantly, if we don’t listen to God’s voice, we miss opportunities to love our spouse the way we committed to in our wedding vows.

My favorite scripture for marriage is 1 Corinthians 13, it is often referred to as the “Love Chapter.” It is not easy to “love” when you are stressed, but it is possible. When you and I get off track, we need to be honest with ourselves, God and our spouse. Don’t ignore any opportunity to apologize. Handle your spouse with care. And when you’re wrong… apologize and don’t delay!

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