Today was great. Justin and myself made breakfast (eggs, sausage, toast with peanut butter and bananas, and avocados), then watched Dredd (in which there was much blood and a couple questionable scenes — family safety rating: unsuitable), and then we went to Eagle River for coffee at Jitters. While we were there, we read in his Every Man’s Battle or Struggle or whatever it is — his devotional — about how sexual sins ARE things you can overcome. That in Jesus, there is no question because everything has already been settled. That was such a precious reminder — we don’t have to question where we come from or where we’re going or whether we’re going to overcome this thing — it’s settled. At the bottom of the daily message, it said something like, “Will the temptation always be there? Will it always be this hard? To that I say an emphatic NO.” That was also a wonderful reminder/realization: it WON’T always be this hard on Justin. I can’t stand seeing him struggle so much with all this stupid worldly stuff. It’s been pretty hard on both of us.
We stopped at Title Wave tonight so I could get a devotional and I “stumbled” upon For Women Only, by Shaunti Feldhahn. I say “stumbled” in quotations because I know He intended for me to see it. I honestly was searching the bookshelf, reading titles, desperate for something that could help me. Something that could shed light on this matter, on this huge issue we’re having; that could help explain to me what’s happening and teach me how to effectively respond to Justin’s problems with decorum and grace in order to build up his character. I saw “For Women Only” and pulled it off the shelf. Under the title it says, “what you need to know about the inner lives of men” and I just smiled. I’m so thankful that when I seem to be at my wit’s end, He’s there to catch me and pull my hand in the right direction.
My first devotional from Shaunti Feldhahn’s book was about respect, and how men would rather be unloved than disrespected. That hit home, because I know for a fact that oftentimes even if I don’t use the words verbally to disrespect Justin, my tone is condescending. I’m the queen of condescending when I’m hurt and I know it hurts him in return, which could be why I do it, although I hate to admit that. Stepping back from the scenario, I’d NEVER hurt him if I could avoid it, but inside the situation, it feels unavoidable and justified to use stinging words. Ephesians 5:33 talks about how a man is commanded to love his wife, but the wife is commanded to RESPECT her husband.
Sigh. It’s a struggle. Hence the title of this post. Do you have any struggles with respect?