Biggest Struggle?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I really struggle to be an encouragement to my wife.  Honestly, that’s a bit of an understatement.  The reality is that she is the one who gets the dark side of my systematic and critical thinking.  As you can probably imagine, she finds it very discouraging.  Without intending to, I often deflate her with my words.

This is really hard to write.  Of all the things I hate about my flesh, this is probably the part I hate most.

“So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” – Romans 7:21-24 (NIV)

The Apostle Paul continues that passage to say that his deliverance comes through Jesus Christ.  Like Paul, through Jesus, I’m beginning to find victory in this area – learning that I don’t need to be less of a critical thinker.  Just the opposite.  I need to apply my critical thinking to understand how important it is for me to be my wife’s primary source of encouragement.

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8 thoughts on “Biggest Struggle?

  1. You are so dear to me. Thank you for always striving to be the best husband you can be:) And thanks for putting up with MY dark side:)

  2. I am by nature a mechanic, always looking and fixing. I’ve trained under German priests and teachers to do it. I am very good at it. My senses trained to hear, smell, feel and see what can be improved. I even have a “sense” as to predict what will happen to a machine even BEFORE it breaks down. See it, analyse it, fix it, go to the next project. Trouble is, I apply this with my poor wife and child. It may be an efficient way to run a home but there isn’t any love involved. My wife has always told me about it and one day, my eleven-year-old called me on it. “Dad, you always see the bad things but you never tell me anything if I do well.” Ouch. I stopped and I cried. I am with you Pastor Kyle. From a theological standpoint, Romans 8 is my favorite. From a personal standpoint, however, I am sure glad there is Romans 7. I’ll be praying for both of us.

  3. In his book about marketing (Lovemarks) Kevin Roberts spends a lot of time talking about the difference between reason and emotion. As he points out, we often forget that “Human beings are powered by emotion, not by reason.” He follows this up with a quote from neurologist Donald Calne who says “The essential difference between emotion and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusion.”

    As analytical thinkers, we often forget the power of emotion, and the need to distribute positive emotional energy (through kind words, tone of voice, face and hand gestures, song, colors, etc). I sometimes try to make a list of all the immediate family members and promise myself to say three positive to each of them during the day. It is not as easy as it sounds–but on days I complete my ENCOURAGING TO DO LIST I find that there is a much higher level of harmony within my family, and within myself. God is love.

  4. Julio & Eric, thanks for the comments. Always glad to know that I’m not alone in this.

    Julio just stopped by my office, and he and I were talking about this some more. Eric, I think you’re absolutely right about being proactive with this. For years I’ve tried to be less critical, but it’s never helped much. Instead, I have to task myself with the job of being an encourager to my wife and family.

    Eric, that’s really cool to hear how its made a positive impact on your family. I hope that I’ll look back a year from now and see the same kind of results.

  5. Thank-you for your honesty, it takes allot to admit our faults but in doing so God tells us very clearly that he will set us free. If more Godly Christians would admit their faults instead of coming across as perfect we would have more people who struggle come into our churches. Who wants to go to a perfect church?
    I want to be a part of a church who is forgiving, and can admit they are not perfect, for no one is!

  6. Paulette, it’s good to hear from you! Thanks for the comment and the encouragement! I hope you and your kids are doing well.

    Betty – No, I haven’t read that book. Is is good, and would your recommend it? Really appreciate your well wishes.

  7. Yes, I recommend the book. Correcting myself: Five Love Languages by Chapman (not Six as I wrote yesterday).

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