By: Carina Trapenning
I couldn’t believe that jerk! Slamming our bedroom door behind me, I angrily began to pace the floor. What about me? What about my feelings? My husband was just the most insensitive, uncaring, unsympathetic– then a gentle memory of Sunday school interrupted my thoughts: ‘Prayer and How it Can Strengthen Marriages’. I feverishly brushed the recollection aside. Heck no, the last thing I wanted to do was pray. I was so angry, so bitter. This was the worst fight we had had in our six months of marriage and I was just certain it meant the “honeymoon” stage was over. It was just ridiculous to expect me to pray. No, what really sounded good was setting my spouse’s shirts on fire. The memory prompted me again. What did I just say? Get out of my head! It came again, more strongly this time. I let out an exasperated sigh and plopped to my knees.
White-hot wrath poured out of me. I didn’t mince words; if God wanted me to pray, He was going to get an earful. As I vented, the fury slowly began to seep out of me—leaving behind a raw ache. I admitted to God that what I really felt was hurt. I was just so hurt. I wanted my husband to love me and to think highly of me, but his actions seemed to convey the opposite. My prayer became wordless as I sank into sobs. After my tears ran dry I remained on the floor unwilling to stand and face the issues that had driven me to our room. I didn’t feel as sour or heated as before, but I also certainly didn’t feel affection for my spouse. Again, I let out a sigh but this one more tired. I weakly asked for help to forgive the man who had brought me so much anguish.
A moment of silence passed, then another. Slowly almost imperceptibly at first a sense of peace trickled in washing out the remaining bitterness from my soul. I began to remember moments during our marriage when my husband had done an excellent job of showing me love. Montage-like memories came flooding back–the pretty flowers from last week, his arms around me, hearing him call me beautiful, the groceries bought, gas tanks filled, the trips he planned just so I could see my family—and, along with them, compassion and tenderness toward the man who helped make them. I was awestruck by how quickly and intensely my feeble and immature prayer had been answered. Sputtering out a “Thank you!- I leapt from the floor and darted down the stairs. My concerns about what words he had or had not used earlier no longer mattered, I just wanted us to be okay again. I flung my arms around that sweet man, almost knocking him over in the process. Undeterred by my exuberance, he squeezed me right back. Maybe the honeymoon didn’t have to be over after all.