“I need you to not complain so much when I have to play at church. It’s what I love to do and I need you to support me when I do it.”
Those words from my husband made me mad. They made me mad because I do support my husband. They made me mad because I hate when people call me on my complaining.
And mostly they made me mad because they were true.
It sucks to be called on my mess because I want to pretend like I have most of my life together. But what I really have is a super-supportive husband who makes me look like I have it all together. I get to do a lot of great things–pursue my passions, take time away from my family to hang out with friends, go to the gym after school for some me time–because Chris takes a lot of things off my plate. He encourages me to dream big and he’ll take care of the details, the laundry and dishes, the dirty bathrooms and our dirty children.
I lucked out big time when it came to Chris Graham. I’d like to pretend I could see his potential when I married him, but that would be a lie. It wasn’t that deep, unfortunately. My thoughts were probably more along the lines of “let’s get married because you’re cute and we can make out all the time!”
My husband supports me in whatever I do. He bends over backward to make sure I am happy.
You know what makes him happy? Playing his bass guitar for worship at our church. He has done this since before we were dating, before he was even a blip on my cute-guy radar. From the beginning, our lives have included practice for worship, early mornings at church, and long days spent playing multiple services. For a years it was for the youth services, now it’s more adult worship. Chris has played on stages for Sunday night worship, midweek worship, and now with our Saturday and Sunday services, he is gone what feels like all weekend when he plays.
He is not really gone all weekend. But he is gone a lot. And I might complain about it occasionally.
I don’t even mean to do it. I know that he loves playing with the worship band, it has always been a powerful way for him to connect with God. It is his passion and his joy.
And apparently, I’ve been crushing his joy. To the point where it is affecting his ability to worship well while he’s at church. When he should be focusing on praising God, he’s worried about what I’m unhappy about at home or what he should be doing instead of being at church. I’m standing in his way.
That hurt to hear. Not because it was insulting and I was shocked, but because I knew it was the truth. I knew, once he said it out loud, that I was doing exactly what he said. I wasn’t consciously trying to rain on his parade, but I sure wasn’t encouraging him to do what he loves the way he encourages me.
Dang it. I’m a horrible person/wife/thing.
This shift is the hardest to write about because it’s not pretty. I’d rather not share the ugly parts of my attitude or marriage. I’d really like to say I am my husband’s biggest fan. But I learned recently that I am not. And the shift didn’t come in learning that lesson and hearing my husband say those painful words, but in how I responded. Once he shared his plea and I was done being defensive, he left the room and I got to sit and think about our conversation; not think about how right I was or what other ways I could prove my point and show him the error of his ways, but I got to think about how he might be right. I asked God to show me how I was acting and what I was doing to damage this pretty amazing guy I married.
He quickly showed me I was wrong, that my attitude sucked and that I needed to fix the way I was interacting with my husband. He reminded me how well Chris serves me and how well I don’t serve him. How selfish I am and how selfless Chris is.
I set out to read my Bible to be closer to God, to feel connected in a way I was missing. But he’s taken this opportunity to show me how to connect better to those around me too, showing me how to love my husband well and serve him. Not because it is my job, but because it is my honor. He wants my marriage to be stronger and he needed to point out an area where things were off balance. I didn’t like learning this lesson; this shift hurt my pride and my feelings. But it was needed.
Sixty days in the Bible shifted my marriage. What could he do with you in sixty days?