Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Day 6-- Love is not irritable

"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city"- Proverbs 16:32

Love is hard to offend and quick to forgive. How easily do you get irritated? I know I am SUPER guilty of this one, and this was a tough pill to swallow. When the housework piles up and no one is helping...I get irritated with everyone around me and start being grumpy to everyone.
Some married folks take every chance they get to tell their spouse they are doing something wrong, and are quick to express how hurt or offended they are. Ding ding ding! Sound familiar???

The Love Dare book says this about being irritated:

People who are irritated are locked, loaded and ready to overreact. This is the OPPOSITE reaction of love. The truth is that love does not get angry or hurt unless there is a legitimate and just reason in the sight of God. A loving husband will remain calm and patient, showing mercy by restraining his temper. A loving wife is not overtly sensitive or cranky, but exercises emotional self-control. She chooses to be a flower among the thorns and respond pleasantly in sticky situations.

Ask yourself "Am I a calming breeze, or a storm waiting to happen?"

It then goes on to talk about the two main reasons we become irritable. I'm sure you can tell me at least the first one right off the bat....stress. Stress is an energy drainer that weakens the body's health and makes us cranky. Many things cause stress, and you know what they are in you life, so I won't go on with that, except to say that you must balance the stress in your life. A way the book points for help is in the Bible. Colossians 3:12-14 teaches us t let love guide our relationships so we aren't caught up in unnecessary arguments. Pray for our anxieties (Phil 4:6-7) and delegate when overworked (Exodus 18:17-23). It also tells us in the 10 Commandments to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy. This day of worship and rest is there for a reason. Many people in today's busy society run errands, work, etc. Our bodies need this day of restoration of body and soul, and focus on God and family.

The other reason for irritability is selfishness. When you are irritable, it says a lot about what's in your heart. Jesus aid "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks" (Matt 12:34).
Think of the old saying "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade".

Our journals say:
Being easily angered is an indicator that a hidden area of selfishness or insecurity is present where love is supposed to rule. Bust selfishness wears other masks: Lust, bitterness, greed, and pride. These motivations can never be satisfied. Love in your heart helps you let go of unnecessary things. Love will lead you to forgive instead of holding a grudge. It then sets up your heart to respond to your spouse with patience and encouragement rather than anger and exasperation.

Today's Dare:
Choose today to react to tough times in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation.
Begin by making a list of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule. Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.

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