On this day 35 years ago I left my husband. We were on our honeymoon walking down the street in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
“Don’t you think it’s time we stopped for dinner?” I asked.
I was an eat-meals-at-prescribed-times person at that phase in my life, and growing up our family ate dinner before 6pm. It was well past that, and my body was shouting, “I need food!”
I don’t remember Steve’s response. It was probably, “Honey, let’s do some more sightseeing before the sun goes down, and then we can eat.” My heart heard, “We’ll eat dinner when I say it’s time, and that’s the way it’s going to be in every area of our lives for the rest of this marriage.”
So I walked away. I wondered what I’d gotten myself into. Hadn’t I thought often before moving out of my parents’ house, I can’t wait to get out of this place, so I can do what I want when I want? Now I was trapped in another situation where what I wanted didn’t matter or at least I was going to have to battle to get it.
My marital separation didn’t last long. For a little over an hour I walked and fumed around the town muttering things like, “He’s not going to tell me what to do for the rest of my life.”
After I cooled off and began to wonder how I’d find Steve again, I turned a corner and there he was walking toward me. We apologized, hugged, and went to dinner.
This memory comes back when “I want my way,” battles arise in our marriage. Just the other day we had a my way/your way squirmish over the A/C setting in the car. We’ve entered the fray during new home construction when we had to choose what we wanted in the house. Battles have taken place in parenting, home management and maintenance and in our emotional and spiritual lives.
In the midst of these battles, 1 Corinthians 13:5 often comes to mind.
Love does not demand its own way. TLB
It’s amazing how well marriage goes when I don’t demand my own way but rather invite Steve kindly to consider it. Often he’s gracious and sacrificially gives me my way. I’m experiencing the peace and harmony that comes by simply saying, “OK,” and submitting without a bitter attitude when Steve wants something his way.
Some days I’m blind to how demanding I can be. Thank God for the times He reminds me, “Love does not demand its own way.” How pleased He is when I take that reminder to heart and act on it.
What about you? Are you caught in the trap of demanding your own way? Are you ready to submit to relating to your husband and others God’s way? The results will amaze you.