Yesterday my wife said something simple that really blessed me. She simply told me that she was feeling out of sorts and wasn’t sure why.
She recognised that her emotions, or her spirit, or something inside her was feeling unsettled and out of sorts. There was no drama. There was no argument. And she seemed to be fine afterwards. She experienced a time of being unsettled, and it passed.
It’s Your Fault!
In many relationships the kind of maturity which Susan displayed is completely missing. When the husband or wife feels unsettled they assume that it is someone else’s fault. Instead of taking responsibility for their own feelings, they lash out at others.
I use the expression “loaded gun” to signify a person who is ready to pick a fight. They may even have a “hair trigger” ready to shoot off in any direction at the slightest prompting. Do you know people like that?
When these people are titchy they immediately act as if it someone else’s fault and as if they will feel better if they lash out at others. That kind of approach leads to such things as the “hormone hostage”, the “thunder dad” and “bad mood Sunday”.
On the other hand, when a person recognises that the problem is internal, they are able to take responsibility for their feelings and the reactions that follow. That’s what Susan did.
She recognised that she was feeling out of sorts, but did not then assume it was someone else’s fault. She did not go looking for someone to vent her feelings on. She did not go and pick a fight so she could dump emotional baggage.
Instead, Susan simply acknowledged that she was struggling with something. She tried to figure out what it was, but couldn’t. She put that on the table. She did not create any sense of blame, or put-on to others. She simply put her own vulnerability out for open display.
Probably because of that, the feelings passed without incident and she got on happily with the rest of her day.
Pride and Anger
In many homes people’s pride and anger destroy and challenge their relationships. When people feel uncomfortable they are reluctant to admit that they have a problem. Their pride gets in the way. They don’t want to admit that they have a need or that they may be a problem or a cause of trouble. Their pride is much happier to accuse others and keep their own reputation clean.
And the uncomfortable feelings stir up reactions from within. We don’t like to feel unsettled and so it is easy to get aroused, making room for angry feelings, when things don’t feel right.
Pride and anger are relationship killers, leading to many of the arguments and strife that couples go through.
That’s why Susan’s handling of her feelings was so impressive. She humbled herself, rather than acting in pride. And she had control over her feelings. She ruled them, and they did not rule her.
Be Honest With Yourself
If you have emotional upheavals at times, or if you end up in strife with others, ask God to open your eyes to your own internal situation. Start being honest with yourself. Don’t blame others, but recognise what is happening inside you.
Here are some great sentences to say, to admit your situation. You might like to at least start saying these things to yourself.
“I’m struggling.” “I’m out of sorts.” “I’m feeling really unsettled at the moment.” “I’ve been struggling with uncomfortable feelings all day.” “I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m having a really hard time staying in control of my emotions today.” “I need help.” “Lord help me gain control of my inner life, emotions and responses.”
A Burden Shared
Once you can be honest with yourself it would be good to find others you can be honest with. Ideally that should be your spouse. However some spouses have their own baggage and do not want to help their husband or wife at these times. So, find some people of your own sex (that’s extremely important) who you can pray with and who will encourage you in godliness.
Don’t get bad counsel. I know of people who get advice from bitter, rebellious, selfish people and the advice is toxic. Get your advice and support from people who love God and are free from pride and anger.
As you share your situation with them you will likely find that you are better able to take control and take responsibility. That way you can walk into greater freedom.
“Lord God, I pray for all those reading this who need to gain rule over their own spirit. I pray that You teach them to take responsibility and to humble themselves. I pray that You give them victory over anger, blame, shame and other devilish things that destroy them and their marriage.
Bless them with joy, peace and wisdom, so they can build the wonderful bonds that you intend us all to enjoy. I ask this in Jesus’ powerful name, Amen.”