But do you know what hunting has always meant for me? No cooking dinner, doing some fun project, and maybe a splurge to go shopping. So I’ve always waved goodbye to the men and have tried to look sad.
“I’ll miss you!” (Take your time –an extra day if you need to.)
Matt and his brother loaded up rifles, camouflage, and Skittles (gotta know what’s important) yesterday and headed out the door. On my way home from school I felt giddy about the wonderful girl evening that lay ahead of me.
Then my phone rang.
“Hey hon,” Matt said.
I shouldn’t have been hearing from him at 3:30 in the afternoon. He had promised me they’d be out until dark.
“We came in early to pack up and head out to eastern Montana, but the weather doesn’t look favorable in those places,” he said. “So we’re just going to do local day hunts this week.”
Man at home. Worst of all? He was going to need dinner.
I was disappointed, but I had just been reading Paul David Tripp’s book, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hand, and a chapter about what causes chaos in relationships. Tripp brought this verse to my attention:
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. (James 4:1 ESV)
Those “passions” refer to our desires for pleasure. Tripp says:
The problem with desire is that in sinners it very quickly morphs into demand…Demand is the closing of my fists over a desire…The morphing of my desire changes my relationship to others. Now I enter the room loaded with a silent demand: You must help me get what I want. If you are an obstacle, I will immediately be angry and impatient with you.
So I recognized that I desired my girl evening, and in the past I had closed my fists over this desire.
But I decided to listen to what the Lord had been teaching me, as I had been thinking about the verse from James over the last few days. I asked the Lord to help me set down my desires, and I internally gave the evening to my husband.
I went to Cabela’s and bought Matt some new hunting boots because his were breaking down, stopped and grabbed fish-n-chips from Applebee’s, and later went back to Cabela’s to exchange the boots that were too big.
And I did it all with a happy heart. That is no small work of God in me.
Because there have been other years when Matt has come home early from hunting, and I have chosen to punish him for ruining my expectations. I’ve chosen wordless pouting and grumpiness instead of welcoming the poor man home, proving that my desire for a girl’s night was more important to me than loving him.
“I thought you would be upset that I came home early,” he told me later last night. “Usually you get upset.”
“I’m growing up,” I said.
So I have two kinds of encouragement for you.
First, keep an eye out for your desires for pleasure that could easily become more important to you than loving God or loving the people in your life.
Second, I want to point out that time and again my marriage has gotten better because I have been reading the Bible and have chosen to obey what I’ve found there. God’s truth is the source of change.
Being a happy wife starts in our own hearts.
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