By Guest Columnist Danielle Metz
I am a wife, a homemaker, and by the time you read this, a mother for the first time. While I would like to think our home life is somewhat like Leave It to Beaver, it is not. As all relationships between humans go, we slip up, we mess up, and we lose our focus. There are times we selfishly ignore what is best for our marriage because it is not comfortable for us as individuals.
At one point I found myself doing this by holding my husband to an unattainable standard. When he did not reach my bar of perfection, I harbored resentment toward him. Eventually this poison spilled over into my attitude and actions. I became so wrapped up in old hurts and scars that I couldn’t see the good in him, and our marriage suffered. In my blindness, I blamed him and held a grudge.
Around that same time my husband posted a sign on our bathroom mirror that read, “If your attitude stinks, your heart’s not right.” The quote is from the movie Facing the Giants, and in its context was meant to give inspiration to a failing football team. Throughout the film, the coach used what he learned in his personal life to teach his players the importance of taking responsibility for their attitudes. He showed them that the attitudes they chose affected their actions, and, their actions affected the success of the team.
While I resented it at first, God used the statement to help me see what was wrong in my marriage. Through tough conversations and times of frustration, God showed me the person I thought was least likely to blame: me. He showed me my expectations were unrealistic and that getting along started with me.
It took time, but once I fully accepted this truth, a huge transformation took place. I realized the only expectations I could have for my husband are to be human and to make mistakes. I realized I could not change anyone but myself. I learned that holding grudges promoted damage, not growth.
By the end of the film, the coach led his team out of a losing streak to the state championship because of their learned ability to work together and take responsibility for themselves. His challenge to his team has become a daily reminder to me to take time to evaluate my heart and motivations, and to take responsibility for my attitude and actions first. It’s a reminder that I am part of something bigger than, and more important than, myself—my team.
Danielle Metz is a freelance writer in Florence, Kentucky.