When people first get married they actually think their new spouse is a lot like them. I know I entertained those kinds of thoughts when I first married my wife Aleta. I actually thought we were a lot alike; like when we would want to get up in the morning (that didn’t last long), how we would spend our money, and other important things like where we would squeeze the toothpaste tube (from the bottom of course) and unroll our TP (over the top of course).
I remember this one time in our first year of marriage when I discovered how different we really were – different not just because we did things differently but because I was what I would call a serious “Money Tweaker.” I would stress out about every dollar we spent and agonize over whether the money was spent “properly”. My sense of emotional well-being was defined by our checkbook balance and I compulsively checked it every day. If our balance was above $50 (yes we were poor) I felt good, if it was below $50 I would stress out and nag Aleta about how we had to be smarter with our money. It all blew up the day Aleta received some birthday cash to spend on herself. Aleta being a smart woman, used this rare extra cash to buy some things for herself. As I added up our checkbook I realized she’d overspent her gift by the vast amount of $5 and we were now below $50 (I told you I was a money tweaker). In my insanity I accused my wife, who had never ever been reckless or untrustworthy with our money, of being reckless and untrustworthy with our money. In that moment Aleta had finally had enough of my insanity, and she got angry with me. I don’t remember all of what she said but I do remember these words, “Andy – this is not okay! You have a real problem!” Instead of embracing her words, I immediately defended myself – “I’m sorry! You can’t be mad at me and think you somehow still love me.”
Have you ever been confronted by a loved one who is angry with you, and done nothing but defend yourself? Have you ever thought, “No! You can’t be mad and think you love me! Don’t you know there is no anger in real love?”
Have you ever had those thoughts towards God? I have. I’ve had times in my life when I’ve thought, “God, if you really loved me you wouldn’t be angry. You’re supposed to be a God of unconditional love. Remember – loving me just the way I am. C’mon God – real love doesn’t include anger!” Or does it? Stay tuned . . .