I Hurt A Sweet Woman…

Tuesday, I blogged about Dare 26, a reader’s experience with her husband when he was acting angry, and the battle that rages in our hearts toward each other in marriage.

The big “A-Ha!” findings from Shaunti Feldhahn’s new book, Highly Happy Marriages, is that couples that are actually happy are doing these things:

  1. Paying attention to the “little signs of affection” daily – they matter a TON. We have a list of those for men and one for women to help you. 
  2. Believing the best about their spouse – happy couples frequently refer back to “I know she loves me,” or “I know he doesn’t mean that,” instead of assuming the worst or creating negative motive for their spouse.
  3. Surprise – they go to bed mad. They don’t do conflict late at night, often because they realize the outcome won’t be good because they’re tired.
  4. They pay attention to the good things their spouse does – and thus do things their spouse likes – on purpose – to help them when they are having a rough spell, for example, “they pick up the slack” when the other is injured, stressed, or super-busy.
  5. They choose to be in charge of their feelings instead of letting their feelings dictate their behavior – which results in the ability to see what is True, Philippians 4:8 style.
  6. They live in a state of conscious wonder – gratitude toward their spouse and what s/he does.
  7. And the most important secret? They have Jesus Christ at the center of their marriage – both husband and wife have deep relationship with Jesus Christ such that they serve each other happily, and trust God with the outcome in tough situations.
  8. And many more. It’s a book worth getting. 

How is this related to how I hurt a sweet woman? 🙂

Yesterday, I read Debbie Hitchcock’s blog. She is our operations director at Greater Impact and blogged about a ministry head that hurt her – I was that person. If you haven’t read it, you need to.  Better yet, subscribe – she’s a wise godly woman!

Last night, I called her, and I said, “Your blog!  You protected my identity, which is sweet, but you know you could have totally sold me out, right?” She laughed. She and I have had our share of conflict, seriously, but we always work towards God’s Best in those situations – and she is wise in describing our relationship as “like a marriage.” As I was reading Shaunti’s book, of course I was looking at my own marriage, but what really stood out to me is that the above points, (and more) are represented in Debbie and my partnership in ministry.

I asked her if she was okay with me selling myself out here today – because I wanted to share with you her heart, and how we (I!!) am not perfect at this stuff, even though we write about it. 

I know I hurt her on the day she talks about in her blog. I am thankful that she is a mature woman and not only received my apology, but did what God wanted her to do anyway. I have hurt her since – and she’s hurt me, too. But we LIVE the above 7+ because what we do is centered around point #7 – Jesus Christ.

At the retreat we recently had, I realized that I am still doing it. One of the “themes” became apparent as several of our team members told their story of how they contacted me and were ignored. The phrase of the day became, “I wrote Nina and got crickets.”

cricket chirping

I was thankful for the opportunity to apologize to these sweet women, and thankful for their honesty, perseverance, and that they still work with me.

And God used that information to help me “get it.” We have now instilled several practices and added people to the team to help others feel more connected – hopefully avoiding crickets! – and keep me from drowning in the plethora of communication that occurs – and as a result, treating people the opposite of what I want to treat them, as precious.

So I wonder, today, if we looked at our marriage as the place where we do ministry, if we’d stop taking each other or our kids for granted, stop treating each other or our children worse than we’d ever treat co-workers, neighbors, fellow church members, etc., and instead realize that we are to treat ALL of His children, including those who don’t even know Him, as precious.

And if you are one of the many who have contacted me and received “crickets” that I haven’t apologized to, I am so very sorry!  I know what it is like to try to connect, get help, ASK, and be ignored – it hurts, it makes you feel even more invisible and alone than you already are. I’m so sorry to have done this to you.

So what about you?  What is He saying to you today about all of these things? Would love to dialogue with you about it today! 🙂 

And I’m so glad we are on the journey together.  It’s less lonely, isn’t it?

Love to you,

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5 thoughts on “I Hurt A Sweet Woman…

  1. I live this every day with my dear darling hubby. He is retired and when I was out of work, I handled the house work, dishes, laundry, etc. When I am working, even if it is part-time, he runs the dishwasher every morning, takes care of himself and dear darling son and makes sure he handles anything he can before I even have to worry about it. I still do laundry but that is by mutual agreement. If he can handle the other day to day minor stuff, I have no problem handling the laundry!! It’s all in being mutually respectful to one another’s needs!!

  2. I smiled reading this, not because people were hurt but because I am learning that our weaknesses (whether busy schedule or difficulty in knowing how to respond or forgetfulness) are made perfect in Christ. Where YOU feel as if you failed was actually where Christ stepped in and grew ME.

    I wouldn’t sell my crickets for any amount of money!!!

    I reached out to you as I felt led by God and when you felt led by God, you reached out to me and it was THEN, after sending me a message, that you saw my message to you. BECAUSE of this, we both had confirmation from Christ. 🙂 I will never wonder or question my involvement with this ministry – God was obvious. AND I LOVE THAT!!!!

    This reminded me of a post I wrote about serving my family with a My Pleasure attitude – http://ninaroesner.com/2013/03/14/is-it-my-pleasure-is-it-yours/

    Still struggle with this daily, I love my family and I want to serve them lovingly. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Katy –

      🙂 I love how He’s always about His business. And how He knits us together in community when we let him. 🙂 You are dear to me. SO glad you are on our team as Director of Outreach! I NEED YOU! 🙂 Well, I would if it were my ministry – but it is His, and He has His plan for you, and I’m thankful we’re walking this path together. Love what you do for Greater Impact, gorgeous!

      Love to you!

  3. Crickets….Yes I got them too. It was a great lesson looking back on Gods timing. Thank you for being so transparent with your struggles. We all have them and so many times Christian leaders do not let their struggles show and they become these perfect women that people put up on pedestals and judge themselves or their spouse by them. I am so thankful that you called Debbie back because she adds so much to the ministry.

    I love the GOES TO BED ANGRY as this is something I struggle with. I have always been told don’t go to bed angry which is fine if the conflict happens at 8 am and you have all day to work it out. But that doesn’t often happen. In our house it usually happen later at night when we are both tired then we are even more tired and cranky trying to work through it so we can go to bed.

    I will be reading this book for sure!

    God is using you in mighty ways beautiful lady! Even in your shortcomings…..

    • Mande! LOL!! I’m mostly shortcomings! 🙂 Sometimes I get it right – and then Him within me is what is seen. 🙂 I LOVE the fact that we are always going to be sinners – that takes the pressure out of “being perfect” and replaces it with recognition of what He did for us all, even if we were the ONLY PERSON LEFT ON EARTH – we meant that much to Him. I know you know. 🙂

      SO very glad you are here – in spite of the crickets! – and I’m so very sorry that’s what you got from me! You deserved better. Thanks for sticking around anyway. 🙂

      You are absolutely right about Debbie, we wouldn’t exist without her. 🙂
      Love to you!

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