If only you had paid attention to my commands…This is what the Lord says–your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:17-18 (NIV84)
Before I share this ridiculous altercation between my husband and I, I want to go on record to say that this took place a few years ago, we are still married, and I did offer him the remote control right at the onset BUT, if we hadn’t had this altercation I couldn’t write this story! 🙂
In my frustration, I all but threw the television remote at my husband because I didn’t understand his instructions and he wouldn’t just take the remote and do it himself!!! He was equally frustrated as he assumed I understood (or that I should understand because I had done it a hundred times before under different circumstances in a different screen view) and it’s just possible that he didn’t want to admit he didn’t know how! He retorted, in a sarcastic tone, “Don’t you know what you’re doing? I yelled back, “Obviously not, because I’m not doing it!” offering the remote to him…with great emphasize…we were off and running and going on the “DEFENSE”!
That night after things had calmed done we went to a Navy basketball game with some friends. During the game we were often led in a cheer yelling “defense.” What do we hope to gain by going on the defense? In basketball when the other team has the ball we need to guard and defend the basket so the other team won’t score. (female perspective) In football you attack i.e. tackle the one with the ball (on the opposing team) to stop him from getting to the goal by any means necessary, except, no grabbing the face mask! Why is it we can explain and appreciate the rules and regulations of sports, but have little or no concept that rules apply in the art of communication? I’m beginning to think we need to cry out in our marriages “defense” when we have the ball of opportunity to speak, but fear the threat of attack is imminent!
Driving to church the next day I apologized to my husband for losing my temper during our raging-remote-rant and he dittoed my apology then we sat silently – scared to get it all turned on again. While listening to soft praise music I reflected on what had transpired the day before and the Lord began to work in my heart. I thought about my inability to choose the right remote buttons to make the TV do what I wanted. I knew the results desired, but I didn’t know how to get there and being scolded only enhanced my frustration. I’m sure it was no different for my husband in his inability to communicate what he wanted, he in turn, retaliated in anger toward me. He only wanted to have a show recorded, not teach me “Remote 101”! I asked for help, but our mounting frustration became defensive and the games had begun!
In the movie “By Dawn’s Early Light” a nuclear war had been accidentally set off between Russia and the United States. The new acting president tells the pilot of his plane to “keep that #*&@$ off of us for 15 minutes if you want to win this war!” The pilot in amazement states, “Win! I thought we were suppose to stop this thing!” In our marriage, or in any relationship, there has to be one willing to “stop this thing”! The perfect relationship would have two people working together striving to care for each concerned, but since this isn’t always the case, our emotions and pride put us in DEFENSE mode! One of us have to make the commitment to be willing to “stop this thing!” Sometimes that might mean losing the battle in order to win the war!
Example: The woman has the ball of opportunity, running down the field of a “God Honoring Marriage.” She’s trying to get her ball of opportunity to the goal: request for help with the kids, a night out with her husband, quality adult conversation…or even how to work the remote control. She sees where she needs to go and heads down the field gaining some yardage running for all she’s worth. A large burly opponent comes at her with a glint of “gotcha” in his eyes! She tries to stop and veer to her left to ward off his attack but he grabs her around the knees and brings her crashing down! They both get up, she is hurt and shaking trying to gain her equilibrium. He gets up and shakes the dust off his uniform doing a ‘gotcha’ dance!! Removing his helmet, he turns around facing his opponent, she looks in his eyes and it’s the one she loves with all her heart! He looks down shamefully, but can’t lose face so puts his helmet back on and runs off the field! We need to recognize WE’RE ON THE SAME TEAM!!!!
This is what it should look like:
The woman has the ball of opportunity, running down the field of a “God Honoring Marriage”. She’s trying to get her ball of opportunity to the goal i.e. request for help with the kids or a night out with her husband, quality adult conversation…or even how to work the remote control. She sees where she needs to go and heads down the field gaining some yardage running for all she’s worth. A large burly opponent comes at her with a glint of “gotcha” in his eyes! (Satan’s minion) She tries to stop and veer to her left to ward off his attack when all of a sudden a team mate comes from out of nowhere and hits her opponent for all he’s worth, sending him head over heels into body torturing rolls! The woman crosses the goal dancing her victory dance and her teammate picks himself up out of what should have been a neck breaking tackle and runs to her checking, to be sure she is alright and they dance their victory dance together!
Am I a dreamer; a helpless romantic?
A gentle answer turns away wrath; a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1 YOU DECIDE to be the one to “stop this thing” before it even starts. Use a gentle word, recognize your loved one as a team-mate not the opponent. Be the one who will provide defense protecting your partner’s honor and self-esteem as well as your own, but most importantly protect each others walk and witness in a God Honoring relationship.
(*defense in depth the practice of arranging defensive lines or fortifications so that they can defend each a God Honoring relationship.other, especially in case of an enemy incursion.)
- an instance of defending a title or seat in a contest or election: his first title defense against Jones.• military measures or resources for protecting a country: the minister of defense | [ as modifier ] : defense policy.
* Dictionary Version 2.2.1 (171.1) Copyright © 2005–2014 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.
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