A deep sigh emerged along with its synchronized eye roll. An all too familiar and automatic response – truthfully, a well honed self-protective reaction to hurt since childhood. The air was NOT filled with, “You idiot!” or sentences marked with harsh expletives. No words were needed. I had just cursed my husband.
Did I just hear a gasp in response to my last sentence… maybe even a raised eyebrow or two? Feeling a bit convicted? Or is it more like this, “Wow Robyn, I’ve never cursed anyone.” Really? If you say never… I don’t believe you.
I watched my husband’s strong shoulders sag diminishing his 6′ 1″ frame. Then that little spot on his jaw set and began to twitch. His eyes dropped as his heart visibly withdrew into silence.
Yes, I sometimes get discouraged, disappointed even hurt in our relationship. Things go wrong or not how I’d like or even my way. There is conflict and misunderstanding. Left unaddressed, I start feeling like I’m too much. My first line of defense is contempt. Guns blazing inside, I push him away, because after all, I don’t need you anyway.
For you see, I think I can walk in the hollows just fine all by myself.
My curse was over something rather petty. Often that’s how it goes. Yes, I know all about keeping small accounts. And… life happens, you get complacent, think it doesn’t really matter, after all you can handle this one and you just let things slide – or so you think.
Suddenly they are huge.
I mean after all, haven’t I told him a bazillion times? That light on the dishwasher is supposed to tell you if the dishes are clean or dirty. Ah, but it wasn’t about the light; it wasn’t about putting dirty dishes away in the cabinets or the tiny bit of added effort to reload.
I felt stupid, set up by a small green light, then angry with Bob. Such an intelligent man and he can’t remember a little light? In a flash, previous moments from our busy schedules pressed my heart in a weighty collective. Shame exploded in my chest and burned my face. It seemed he had time to remember so many other things. I felt missed, not seen or heard and my voice not honored the past week. All of which validated in my heart – that I was indeed way too much.
A young voice erupted with largeness – “There is no way I’m going to let him hurt me!” Mount Dishwasher was the last stand, with a sigh as my shield and dagger eyes. I was ready and armed.
And I told him, loudly, with no words, that he was not enough.
Did you know that God created women to be life givers? Yes, physically, but also in relationship. And whether you are a woman who is single, married, divorced, widowed or have children or not – it is how God uniquely created you, uniquely created me.
When we curse, we open the dark world that will fill the room and begin to turn hearts against one another and ultimately against the heart of God. (Dan Allender) Sure sounds like death to me.
To bless takes some intentionality on our part. It comes from a heart of forgiveness, love and gratitude. Not contempt. Oh and dang-it… you cannot hide when you are blessing.
Ladies, bringing life to our relationships is laborious, costly, glorious work.
Recently, I had a chance to bless my husband. When you give a blessing it says, “There is nothing I hold against you to where my heart hides from you.” Oh my… indeed! Some work was in order for this woman’s heart. It was brutal and beautiful – “brutiful”. Today I am still seeing the power of naming and reminding Bob of who he truly is and calling him to the man he is meant to be. It has been profound – for both of us.
Gosh I love having his eyes, the look and feel of his strong shoulders and masculine presence, his kind voice and tender heart! And that ladies is all you’re going to get from me! There is so much more.
The dishwasher – I could have turned, walked away and let death hang in the air. Sadly, I’ve done that more than I’d care to admit. Funny how easy that feels at the time. It just seems less complicated in the moment to hide our hearts. Yes, even with this man who knows me better than anyone on this earth and whom I deeply love – because honestly, he can hurt me more deeply and bring me greater joy like no other.
I have two choices – blessing or curse.
So this time, I remembered who I am, let go of being right, turned and confessed my ugly contemptuous heart. Then spoke words of blessing over his kind heart that helps around the house after working long days with a lengthy commute to provide.
Together we have committed to a contempt free marriage. No magic words. Oh how I wish! Wouldn’t that be so lovely? Reality, contempt rears its ugly head from time to time, but we have a foundation of truth to build upon.
It has been said that blessings fill the room with the Kingdom of Light and open the expansive glory of the heavens. Blessings are Kingdom of God words. As the sun began to set, my kitchen was bursting with glorious light and the life giving words of God’s Kingdom.
So ladies, take a risk, go fill a room with life and light! Remember who you are. It is your destiny.
Robyn Whitaker lives in Texas with her beloved husband of 32 years. She has an adventurous heart that is learning to breathe. Lover of truth, seeker of story, aspiring author and newborn dreamer, this mother of three is in search of redemption and living her Kingdom purpose. Robyn writes here. n
Robyn, thank you for sharing from your heart. It all rang so true to what I, too, do at times. And I believe that our words (and actions) have the power to bless or curse. Thank you for that beautifully written piece. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and will be re-reading it. Honesty – like a cool breeze on a hot, muggy day. Thank you.
Thank you! This is just what I needed today!
Thank you, Robyn! Love the challenge to bring life and light into my day…even to fill the room.
Robyn, thank you for reminding me of my life-giving role. I love how you wrote what is true: “It has been said that blessings fill the room with the Kingdom of Light and open the expansive glory of the heavens. Blessings are Kingdom of God words. As the sun began to set, my kitchen was bursting with glorious light and the life giving words of God’s Kingdom.” I want to bless more. In some moments it seems like there is a vice on my mouth and heart to do so. I love your vulnerable writing that causes me to see myself in the court room with Jesus as my defense lawyer witnessing on my behalf that he already paid the penalty.Grateful for a savior. Thank you for reminding me of so much…
Needing this! I am single, and we become masters at hiding, at times. I have recently been looking at the fact that I need to treat people [males specifically] in a way that safely gives of myself and upholds them. Almost like I’ve made a type of marriage commitment to the people that are in my life, to be the helper and nurturer…to live in the “brutiful,” as you say! Love that mash- up, by the way! This has given me a ton to think on. Thank you for sharing that part of your marriage life.