Ephesians 5:33b: And the wife should respect her husband.
Respect is his primary need, his deepest desire.

I Put My Followers First

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Three Strikes And . . .

Something stood out for me in yesterday's post and I want to take us in for a closer look.  In the quote from The Respect Dare's Facebook page, this caught my eye:
". . .  subtly discounting the other person's opinion...contempt makes us see our husband as someone who doesn't deserve our respect." (Nina Roesner, The Respect Dare)
I must admit that, on first reading, I balked at that.  In a disagreement, exactly how do I defend my position if I cannot discount my husband's position?  Seriously?

I was raised by my father and my step-mother.  I learned the art of argument by watching them.  My father used weighty-sounding words and phrases like “in terms of”, “per se”, “ipso facto”, “ergo” and “so to speak”.  My step-mother was the queen of the snappy comebacks and effective application of her loud, shrill voice with sharply raised eyebrows and rolling eyes.  Physical displays of rage and violence were not unheard of.

Of course, I was a child and children were to be seen, not heard. I didn't have a chance to hone my developing skills of verbal warfare until I moved away.  I won't say that I entered marriage with any eagerness to try my hand at arguments, but I was not opposed to engaging in them - frequently.  After all, I had an arsenal to drawn upon.

I became quite adept at sarcasm.  I had silently polished it like the favored tool of the aspiring wordsmith that I am.  However, when I was able to speak in defense of myself, I could not volley long soliloquies, like my Dad, because my uncontrolled temper would render me a babbling idiot.  Quick sarcastic jabs became my forte, each followed by some grand, dramatic physical display.

As I matured and became aware of God and His word, I attempted to change my behavior.  My all out temper and raging sarcasm became what Nina Roesner referred to earlier as "subtly discounting".

I thought that minimizing my sarcasm would be sufficient but it was not.  To subtly discount or discredit someone relies on some measure of contempt.  Regardless of how I diminished the sarcasm, contempt breeds contempt.  What should have been easily managed as differences of opinion became saucy sarcastic quips.  Quips soon became loud voices hurling egregious epithets.  Loud voices became silent resentment and blatant disrespect for days, weeks, months, even years on end.

Those "cute" quips of sarcasm and harmless rolling of my eyes grew to be uncontrollable contempt and disgust.  There came a time when I could discern nothing of worth in my husband and we divorced.

Divorce is horrible if it happens once in a lifetime.  It is magnified with each successive repetition of the same mistakes.  For me, that was three times; three contemptible times.

Three strikes and I'm out?  Or did I finally come to realize and accept what Jesus had been offering me all along?


I invite you to follow this blog as I continue to explore the miraculous effects of learning God's Word for the wives.  I look forward to your reactions and eagerly welcome your suggestions.  Feel free to share in the comment section here or on my Facebook page.

~ ~ ~
Because it literally sapped the words and energy from me, 
I'm linking this post up with Shell from Things I Can't Say 
who hosts Pour Your Heart Out every Wednesday. 


Mrs. Joseph Wood said...

Hello Sharon! It was wonderful to stop by your blog and take a look around! God is doing a wonderful work in your heart and home! What a testimony of His amazing grace!! May His Name always be glorified as we fellowship!
With much love,
Mrs. Joseph Wood

Shell said...

Luckily, God doesn't give us only a certain number of chances. He always loves us.

Tylaine said...

Oh Sharon I feel like you read my heart without even knowing me. I feel so ashamed that I am very guilty of what you are talking about. I don't want to say too much on the comment but I really need to listen and heed all the wonderful advice for improving marriages you give. :) Great post!
BTW The picture is so beautiful. That's one of Greg Olsen's I haven't seen before

MomBabe said...

I think speaking kindly is one of the hardest of life's lessons.

Heather said...

Hey Sharon
There is a lot of truth in what you say. Have you ever read the book Fascinating Womanhood? From reading this an other posts, it seems like something you would enjoy. Here's what I thought of it. http://secretsofmom.blogspot.com/2010/03/book-review-fascinating-womanhood.html
If you've read it, I'd love to hear your take. If you haven't I think that you would like it.
Thanks for stopping by my blog, and thanks for being willing to share the message about bone marrow.

Mrs4444 said...

I believe that sarcasm is veiled anger and hurt. I like that you saw how it began to make you more and more negative.

Was it you that suggested we think of our spouse as a child of God? I've been doing that this week, and it's made me see Mr.4444 in a different light. Thanks, again :)

Kirby3131 said...

I notice that my sarcasm towards my husband increases if he's done something that irked me earlier in the day. It's quite a cycle and thank you for you eloquent post.

Kristin - The Goat

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