Just As I Am
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:3, NIV
I (Teresa) grew up in a family that valued routine and schedules. However, my husband's family was much more laid back. Both of his parents worked, and their routines were never the same each day.
Because of this difference in upbringing, when David and I married, our expectations clashed like brown shoes with a tuxedo. For example, I'd cook David's favorite dishes for dinner, just certain that he'd come through the door promptly at 5:30 each day, kiss the kids and me on the cheek, and sit down to a family dinner. But on more nights than I care to count, I'd end up with a tapping foot, a disgusted look on my face, and a cold dinner in the oven as I waited for my husband to come home.
Looking back, I have realized that I didn't respond well to the situation. In fact, I was pretty intolerant. I had come to view David's seeming lack of appreciation for my cooking as absolutely unacceptable. But God showed me that this wasn't necessarily David's problem. In His gentle voice, He prompted me with these thoughts one day: Teresa, could it be that the intolerance you have for David's schedule has actually become a "plank in your eye"? Don't worry about the speck in his. Your lack of acceptance of David's differences is a part of the conflict between the two of you.
I still need David to keep me informed about when he's coming home, and I need some "thank you's" every now and then. But each late dinner is a reminder to me to accept David as he is rather than trying to change him to be like me.
What changes might God be trying to make in you, using your spouse's flaws and shortcomings as the tools to make those changes?
God, help me accept my spouse as he or she is, focusing instead on the changes I need to make in my own life.