I am sometimes antsy about my schedules. When I come home, I have a “debriefing corner” wallet, keys and other pocket items are offloaded. Shoes in their place and socks in their place. Laptop set in its corner. Then I get into home mode. This is simple and organised for me. I am able to trace my steps and in the morning, I pick-up where I left off. Quite differently for Mrs, she will debrief as she walks in, handbag, keys, shoes, coat/jacket, etc leaving a trail. This would get to me and I would clean up after her. Put things in their place and tell myself, “ngoja aniulize asubuhi, nkt!” Irritation sets in.
“Love is not irritable.”
This is a mild every-day example of little things that can cause conflict. This aspect of love touches a raw nerve. Many times one may put up with a lot of stuff from their spouse, and a fight ensues because of irritation. On the whole, ladies are encouraged to avoid being overly sensitive, and gents to maintain an honest calm to avoid saying/doing things with the wrong motive, that cannot be taken back. Honestly, there are times when it just too much.
Being irritated, stems from stress and/or selfishness. Stress is easily resolved by taking some good rest. Selfishness that causes irritation on the other hand is a matter of the condition of the heart:
” Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” – Matthew 12:34
Being easily angered is an indicator that there’s some form of selfishness or insecurity where love should be. There are other ugly heads of selfishness:
- Lust, a sign of ungratefulness for what you have and desiring something else that is forbidden. A lustful heart is easily frustrated and angered.
- Bitterness takes root when you respond in a judgmental way. This form of selfishness responds in anger when provoked.
- Greed for money and/or material items fills the heart with an insatiable desire for more, thus frustrating the heart leaving it with unfulfilled desires and causes a lashing out at anyone standing in the way.
- Pride leads one to act harshly in order to protect ego.
The bible in proverbs says “Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life”. When love enters the heart, any form of selfishness is expunged. This causes a calm response to matters arising. Conflict is therefore not centered on self.
One day while we were talking about the “debriefing corner” I realized that there are some of my habits that Mrs had been putting up with. These far outweigh the debriefing corner and I learnt that it was easier for me to continue the good job I was doing with putting her things away with an unselfish heart than it was for me to expect her to develop a new lifestyle. She had adjusted to my style of living and not letting it get to her. This set me on a new reflective path.
THIS WEEKS DARE: Sit with yourself and in a quiet moment, reflect on the progress made on the list you were given in week 05 and now list areas where you feel you need to improve on your reactions and also list any misguided motivations (types of selfishness) that you need to expunge. Now, based on these two, this week’s dare is fairly simple; resolve to respond in love, to tough circumstances, potential conflict and/or actual conflict in marriage that arise.