Preschool Life Lesson #1

One of the greatest struggles I’m having as a new mom is balancing that and being a wife.  I actually do have a job, but I’ve taken an extended leave so I can be home with Squirmy for a few months before I banish him to daycare.  So…I am like a stay-at-home mom, but I’m not really one.  I’m “playing house.”  Unfortunately, Mr. Rachel and I did not discuss our new roles before the baby came.  I just assumed that he would continue to help out around the house and with the baby when he was home from work.  He assumed that since I am home, I will pick up the housework and take care of the baby.  This is where it starts to get ugly.

I understand that Mr. Rachel has a stressful job – he always works 55+ hours a week, but he has put in 70+ hours the last few weeks due to the terms of his position.  However, I work hard too.  I have a one-month-old baby for 168 hours a week.  That’s pretty stressful as well.  Now I love my son, and I love most of those hours, but a little help would be nice.  My problem is…asking for that help.  You see, I have what some might endearingly call a sharp wit.  Others call it dry humor.  Some just call it being a b***h.  Really it’s none of those things – it’s anger, impatience, and sarcasm.  I’ve had these my entire life, and they occasionally have their place.  However, that place is not with your husband.  When dealing with your spouse – no matter who is right or who is wrong – you should fall back on what you learned in preschool.

Lesson #1: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

This is hard for me.  I love using sarcasm and I consider myself a wordsmith, so when I’m angry with Mr. Rachel I can come up with some zingers.  I’m also good in an argument and can talk for days and drudge up old stuff that no one remembers.  These are not good traits.  I should be using my powers for good.  The power of hurtful language is best outlined in James 3:3-6:

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Like the Bible explains, my tongue is a matchstick.  I can turn anything into an argument and arise anger where none existed before.  Why do I do this?  How is this affecting my marriage?  I don’t know, but I think I do it as a defense mechanism – as a means to hurt before I can be hurt.  I do know, however, that it is affecting my marriage in a harmful manner.  Instead of speaking to my husband with corrupted tongue, I need to speak to him in love and with patience.  I need to leave the sarcasm and hurtful words behind.  Even when I’m not getting my way or I think he’s wrong, I need to step back and remember why we’re here in the first place: love.  We got married because we fell in love.  We had a baby because we wanted another person to love.   We asked Christ into our hearts because we needed his love.  So let’s work on this together.  When the urge to be hurtful or sarcastic comes bubbling up your throat, choke it back down.  Keep your mouth shut until you can open it with love on your tongue, not fire.

Remember:  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

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One response to “Preschool Life Lesson #1

  1. cara

    this is very good rachel…you and i seem to share these “qualities” and your points are very enlightening and well thought out…thank you for sharing your wisdom…

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