Fussing

Many things in life, and many things in marriage, arise to trouble us. Some are real troubles, but many are imagined ones. This article is about the imagined ones. Jesus told us not to borrow trouble because each day has enough of its own. He told us not to be worriers because worrying is a big waste of time and accomplishes nothing. Prayer is the way to deal with our concerns.

             So what am I getting at? Women are worriers (not to say that men aren’t, but this is not written with them in mind) and we can fret and fuss over many things. Remember Martha when she was fussing over the dinner clean up? She was not alone in this feminine temptation.

             But we can also fuss over our marriages. We can fret and worry and nurture a critical, unhappy spirit if we don’t maintain close watch over our souls. Our fuss-budget flesh requires constant maintenance and over-sight at every stage of life. Some of the concerns we may have arise from true issues, but instead of handling them in a godly fashion, we fuss about them. Martha really did need some help in the kitchen; she just fussed about it instead of getting real help. Other issues may spring from an over-fertile imagination or from reading the wrong sort of stuff. It looks something like this: My husband isn’t meeting my needs; we are drifting apart; he isn’t as attentive as he used to be, etc.

            Now some of these could be real troubles that need to be addressed. If you are drifting apart, maybe you should start bestowing more affection and attention on him rather than fussing about the fact that he isn’t bestowing attention on you. If he isn’t meeting your needs, maybe you should stop and think about whether you are meeting his needs. Whenever we become self-absorbed with our own needs (real or imagined), our own wants, our own person, we are setting ourselves up for resentment, bitterness, discontent, and a host of other nasty things.

            Imagined troubles are when we think we are drifting apart, and we really aren’t at all. It’s just that life is full or busy right now. Noticing that things could use a tightening up is not the same thing as full-blown discontent. If you’ve read an article about how men don’t meet their wives’ needs, then perhaps that’s where you got the idea in the first place. It’s quite easy to pick up other people’s complaints and make them our own.

            How many unhappy wives would be transformed if only they would change their focus, away from themselves and onto their husbands in a sacrificial way? Then the real troubles are easily distinguished from the imagined ones. If your spirit is fussing at your husband because he hasn’t noticed that you look great lately, or if he hasn’t taken you out to dinner or brought you flowers, maybe you need to stop for a minute and reflect. These things are nice, of course. But your marriage is more than these things. Maybe, like Martha, you shouldn’t fuss about it, but make the dinner reservations yourself with the hope of pleasing your husband, not to make him feel guilty because he didn’t think of it. Besides, guilt is always a poor motivator. So get past the imagined troubles, count your blessings, and bestow some gracious attention on your husband.

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7 thoughts on “Fussing

  1. Thanks for your post. I have been thinking, dealing, and praying about this issue in my own life. I have been married a year and a half and we have a wonderful seven month old baby boy. It is very easy to fall into the thinking that our culture pushes at us and to give into our sinful attitudes (not being appreciated, doing everything on our own, and not being romanced as we once were…). But I am constantly reminded that I need to have that sacrificial love. It is not easy! To put others first and to have the heart of a servant are complete acts of God’s grace working in our lives. I know that I cannot do those things in my own strength, but must depend on my Heavenly Father to give me that quiet and gentle spirit that is pleasing to Him.

    Marriage is more that just the everyday trivial things that we want to think and worry about. It is the single most important relationship we will ever have because it is a beautiful picture of Christ and the church.

    Keep helping us to focus on the truth with your words of wisdom.

  2. Since you’ve helped me before, you know I’m a worrier (or maybe just plain paranoid). Recently a dear friend was telling me that every time a complaint passed through her head, she would vocalize a praise to her husband or children.
    I’ve been trying to apply that discipline to my worries. It is making me painfully aware of how often I indulge my silliness.

  3. Abra,
    To help my kids learn how important their words are to themselves and others I employed this task a year ago. I heard my children saying negative things outloud to themselves. My oldest son would say “I am so stupid why do I do that”. So I told them everytime they said something negative either to themselves or someone else they were going to have to say two positive things to replace the one negative. This was to show God that we are thankful for how He has made us and Others. It worked and the negativity stopped. However just the other day someone in our home said something that was not encouraging and my daughter who is 8 told them now you have to say two praises to God for that! ha ha ha

  4. Tara, for the self-talk, the “I’m so stupid” stuff, do you have them counteract that with positive things about themselves, or just postive things in general — praise of others or of God?

  5. Nancy,
    this is a great reminder. my heart is naturally inclined this way, and i thank God for using my marriage and husband to purify those things in me. My husband is in seminary and we are both working (no kids yet), but things are busy and i need these reminders to keep serving him and helping him to the best i am able to. My husband has taught me that God uses us and others in our lives to be His grace in our lives at times. Thank you!

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