• ~Martha~

The Log in My Eye

Working with your spouse can be challenging.

I’ve gotten better at it though. It seems like the more I do it, the better I get at it…that is, after I learnt that I must deal with my own shortcomings instead of picking on my spouse’s.

At home things were great, but at work, Samuel and I used to argue a lot. Most disagreements would leave me in tears or just on the verge of me saying something I knew I would later regret. It was never pleasant, because in marriage there is no winner and loser. We either both win or we both lose, and I found that earlier on in our work relationship, we lost more battles than we won.

I used to feel like He was too hard on me. Samuel is a straight shooter. He doesn’t beat around the bush. If he doesn’t like it, he’ll say it. He’s a big believer in ‘there’s always room for improvement’ and because of that, he welcomes correction and critique even when it comes to his personal work.

I on the hand do not handle criticism well, especially when it comes from my husband. When he said I wasn’t singing the notes correctly, I interpreted it as “You don’t know how to sing properly.” I would feel completely inadequate and as a result I became very defensive.

As much as I expected Him to be less critical, I had to trust that his intention was not to make me feel incompetent.

The truth is, my feelings of inadequacy were there long before Samuel came around. They were buried so deep I didn’t even know I had a self-esteem issue. He just happened to be the only person who came close enough to expose it, and boy did he feel the consequences of touching such sensitive issues in my heart. I was blaming the speck in his eye when the log in mine caused too much discomfort.

This is going to sound unconventional, but the truth is I am inadequate. I have no idea what the heck I am doing this thing called life. I’m just moving where the Lord leads me to move. He is the one who is enough. He is the One who is capable.

I felt inadequate because I was looking at others and I never measured up to what they were, or to what I thought they expected me to be (including my husband). But when I started looking at Jesus, I didn’t feel incompetent. I began to feel confident because I knew that He was the one who was working in me, and that He can do things I cannot. So maybe I was looking to the wrong person for validation.

Maybe my confidence issue was the log that prevented me from seeing that my husband did in fact want me to excel in my work. Maybe the speck I thought I saw in his eye, was just a distraction from the gigantic issue in my heart.

So, when I feel those emotions rising in me because of something he has said, I pause, and I remind myself that my husband would never intend to say something he knew would hurt me. Let me stop interpreting his words and actually listen to what he is saying.

I have seen how over the years Samuel has become more sensitive on how he approaches ‘helping’ me, and I thank God for that. However, that is his walk with the Lord. That is how he has allowed God to work in him daily, because I can’t work on him (even though I’m tempted to try sometimes).

I can only work on myself.

I cannot remove the speck out of my husband’s eye. How can I, when the log in mine is blinding me so?

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© 2019 Martha Simalenga

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