One day a few months ago my husband had a speaking engagement. We had agreed that I would pack the baby bags the night before so that we could leave the house on time on the morning of the engagement.
I meant to wake up early. I really did.
I jumped out of bed and rushed around to get the bags packed and our two kids dressed.
I pretended not to notice my husband eyeing me and I could tell he was shaking his head inwardly as I scrambled to make sure everyone was dressed for our departure time.
I didn’t think I would take so long to comb our daughter’s hair. But I did.
So 30 minutes before we were scheduled to leave I still hadn’t showered yet and was just finishing our daughter’s hair.
I tried to make small talk with my husband and noticed that he was giving me one word answers and sounding annoyed.
I didn’t like that.
Yes, I get it, I woke up late, I reasoned to myself. But I was tired! I deserved to sleep in one morning out the week, doggone it. And I was supposed to pack the bags but didn’t get around to it. Big deal. I’m not perfect person.
Talking to myself this way, in two minutes I was feeling just as annoyed with him as he seemed to be with me. And I knew I wasn’t going to be ready on time.
So I gathered my pride and calmly said, “You know what, I’m just going to church with my mom today.” I didn’t mean it at all. I just wanted to show him that I didn’t care if I didn’t have his approval even if it was my fault I wasn’t ready.
He responded just as calmly, saying that it was okay with him and that he had already arranged for a friend to drop him off at the church where he was speaking.
I was taken aback. He had already made plans to leave without me? He had assumed I was going to be late and gone behind my back?
My pride was stung. The fact that he was okay with going to speak without us accompanying him hurt. I was mad.
I decided that I really would go to church with my mom to punish him. Let him miss us today, I thought. He’ll be sorry. I planned to make sure the kids and I were gone the whole day so that he’d be lonely and regret leaving me behind.
After a few minutes of fuming to myself, my conscience started pricking me. Here I was, letting my pride dictate my actions. I was being petty and I knew it.
So I tried to make amends. I walked to the room where my husband was adjusting his tie and putting on his suit jacket.
“It doesn’t make sense for us to be fighting,” I started to say. I didn’t want to take the blame, not yet.
“I’m tired of having the same conversation with you,” my husband said. “I told you I don’t want to be late when I’m speaking. I told you to pack the bags last night. The same thing keeps happening.”
Still not wanting to own up to my faults, I replied, “Well, I’m trying to work this out and you don’t want to, that’s fine.” I turned around and left the room.
He left 5 minutes later.
I finished getting dressed about 30 minutes later, all the while fighting with myself. On one hand I wanted to continue being prideful and petty. On the other hand, God had already convinced me that I was wrong and should go ahead and support my husband even if we weren’t seeing eye to eye at the moment.
I got the kids into the car and buckled them into their car seats, still undecided.
I got on the highway and about 5 minutes later I gave in to God. I took the ramp for the exit that would take me to the church where my husband was speaking.
I felt hot and cold at the same time as I walked into the church. The only available seats for me and the kids were all the way up front, so I knew my husband would see me as I made my way to our seats.
Right before my husband spoke, the person introducing him to the congregation mentioned that he was married and asked me to stand up and greet the crowd. I put a calm smile on my face and waved, feeling my husband’s gaze on me.
After the service was over my husband and I walked to the car. After he slid into his seat it was quiet. “Thank you for coming,” he said after a moment. “I know you were upset with me.”
I replied with a teasing smile “I didn’t want to. God had to convince me to come.” He smiled back at me. The tension between us was broken. I felt like a weight had dropped from my chest.
Pride is something that I struggle with, and sometimes I say and do things that I know I’ll regret later on. But in this instance I decided to put my pride to the side and practice the principle of humility. And you know what? I was so glad I did. That day made me realize that my relationship with my husband is worth so much more than my pride. Instead of waiting for my husband to make amends with me, I took the first step. Showing up to support him in spite of our earlier disagreement disarmed my husband’s anger and made it easier for us to make up.
Are you prideful or petty? Describe a time you and your spouse (or significant other) were mad at each other. How did you make up?