He Was Sleeping Outside My Door
"Husbands love your wives even as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it."
I remember it like it was yesterday. My husband and I were expecting our first child. I was seven months pregnant and a total hormonal basket case. I stayed sick and exhausted for the duration of my pregnancy. Even though I was extremely OCD, I had let things go on the home front. I couldn't find the energy inside me to cook and clean like I did pre-pregnancy. And since I was growing another human being inside my body, I gave myself a pass.
One afternoon, I walked in from a full day's work at my day job when I discovered that my husband had invited company over....without telling me...and the house was a wreck. They were playing a video game without a care in the world, and I was about to cry. Dishes piled in the sink and on the counter tops, a load of clean towels and wash cloths spilling off of our cheap futon into the floor of our rental house. I bet flames shot out of my eyes as I gave my beloved a look that could kill. I literally wanted to choke him...or at least kick him in the stomach. He knew he was in trouble. I started to have a mini panic attack as I thought about what his guest might have been thinking about the giant mess that littered my house. He followed me in to the kitchen where I let him have it..in a loud whisper.
His friend probably thought I was psycho...and looking back, I'll admit it, I probably was. Let's just say that pregnancy didn't suit me.
After completely giving him the third degree, I stormed to the bedroom, slammed the door, locked it and cried. I felt like I was a bad wife because the house wasn't perfect. I felt like I had failed my husband. I felt like I had failed his friend.
My husband's friend got the message that maybe the pregnant woman that just had a meltdown was not in a good mental or emotional state, and he was smart enough to go home. Bless him.
After the friend left, my husband showed up at the door of our bedroom knocking..."Can I come in?" "No, I cried," through tears. "I am humiliated." He apologized on the other side of the door explaining that he didn't mean to upset me. I didn't open the door for him that night. When I got up the next morning, I saw my husband curled up asleep in the floor next to our door. The throw from the couch barely covered his body, and the couch cushion he used for a pillow didn't look comfortable, either.
"What are you doing in the floor?" I asked in surprise. "I wanted to be as close to you as possible," he replied. I felt like the worst person in the world. He slept outside my door...because I was mad about a dirty house. I made him feel terrible, and I was out of line. I felt about two inches tall.
Looking back, it reminds me of the maiden's dream in Song of Solomon 5. The maiden talks about her beloved coming to her door one night, but she wouldn't let him in. She was mad at him for some reason. Maybe he was late getting home. Maybe he didn't do what she had asked him to do earlier in the day. But instead of forcing himself upon her, he gently lets her know that he wanted in, but he goes away.
Ephesians tells men to love their wives like Christ loved the church, even giving himself for her. This leads me to believe that it is up to men to begin the reconciliation process when conflict arises. And conflict will arise in every healthy relationship. Christ began the reconciliation process by sacrificing Himself for the church. He died for His bride. So when a man and wife fight about a sink full of dirty dishes, for example, and they lie down at night retreating to their opposite sides of the bed refusing to speak to one another, it is the man's responsibility to cross the imaginary line and say, "Let's talk about this"
Women don't get off the hook so easily, though. I was wrong in speaking to my husband the way I did. I am to treat him with respect and honor. Proverbs tells us that it is better for a man to live on the corner of a roof than with a quarrelsome wife. This doesn't mean that as a wife I can't take concerns and confrontation to my husband. But I am not to belittle him and make him feel like he never does anything right.
Our relationship with God can determine our marital success. Marriage is so much easier when husbands and wives devote themselves to Christ, when both people are striving for more of God. He is always there to guide us in our decisions and remind us that our marital commitment to our spouse is to Him even more than it is to our spouse.
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me someone to love. Thank you for giving me someone that loves You. Thank you for wanting the best for me. Thank you for a husband that wants to bring the best out in me just as Christ wants to bring the best out of His church. I pray that my pride doesn't get in the way of my marriage. I pray that we are always able to work through conflict while keeping you first. I pray for those who are in hurtful marital situations, and I ask for total reconciliation and healing that only You can provide. I know You are able. In Jesus' name. Amen.