Recently while Lori was away on a business trip, God sideswiped me with something I was definitely not prepared for. Throughout our almost 5 year marriage, there have been many times when I stepped out of the role of a husband and into the role of a teacher. Talking to her as if she was a kid who needed instruction. She would tell me how much this upset her, but I never really knew why.
There would be other times when she would ask a question, and for whatever reason I didn’t understand what she was asking. But instead of simply asking her to repeat it, my response to her seemed to say "What is wrong with you, why can’t you explain this?". Part of this stemmed from my frustration about not being able to understand what she’d be saying. Nevertheless, it is something I had to learn to stop doing because of how it affected her, but still,I did not understand why.
Then one day, in a split second, I had a revelation that rocked my world. The Holy Spirit showed me a vision of my wife as a little girl, growing up, completing high school, going to college, getting 3 degrees. Graduating with a Ph.D, doing awesome research, being confident in her abilities. Taking care of herself, and doing fine.
The he showed me her beginning to doubt herself. All of a sudden she’s not so sure she knows what she’s doing anymore. Even basic things like paying bills, and banking etc… She begins to wonder if she’s not that intelligent, and that causes her to second guess everything she does.
Now comes the fun part. At that moment, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that this is what my words were doing to Lori. A strong woman who had been doing just fine on her own, now in marriage beginning to doubt herself because of the way I treated her.
My heart was broken, but not from guilt, or shame. It was broken for her sake. I felt God speak to me and say
"How dare you speak to her in such a way, someone that I love so much."
This was not condemnation, it was correction. And I needed it. Lori needed my support, not my correction. She needed someone to praise her, not look at her with frustration. It broke my heart to think that someone who used to be confident in herself, would look inward and think "Maybe I don’t really know what I’m doing", because of something I said.
When we begin to understand how much God loves us, and we stop being so hard on ourselves, our hearts become soft enough to realize how much we’ve hurt other people. Things we couldn’t see before because we were afraid to look. This experience was painful, but I was ready to face it because I knew that God would not abandon me for having done something so hurtful. That’s a wonderful place to be.