Recently my wife and I had an argument. I did not like the way I handled it. I went into my cave and started stewing. It took me almost a day to admit that I was angry. I was a cauldron of unhealthy emotions. I certainly did not want to talk with my wife about the stew I had created in my soul. So I kept quiet and pouted. I was helping to create a gap. I could say with the Psalmist, “For my soul is in trouble.” (Ps 88:3). If I am honest with myself, I have to admit that I was acting very immaturely, like a misunderstood boy.
But I am becoming more responsible in my responses to my wife. I don’t know about you men, but when I am dealing with the mess of my emotions, knowing I have to face my wife with emotional honesty, I do not want to stand in the gap between us. I want to flee from “WOMAN”. Somehow I always feel the scales are tipped in my wife’s favor. But I learning to come out, stand in the gap, and be honest with my emotions. It has nothing to do with being right or wrong, but rather with being emotionally honest. The Psalmist prays in Ps 130:1-2, “Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord. Lord, hear my voice, let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.” It occurred to me that the Lord would hear my honest cry for help in wanting to be emotionally honest.
On a prayer walk I was asking the Lord for help with my emotional responses to my wife. I felt like the Lord was saying to me, “Al, you carry the burden” What was the burden? It was the gap that our argument had created. I know it was affecting my wife, but I was more focused on me. I was running away. Someone had to stand in the gap (Ezk. 22:30). That was to be me. We read in Gal 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” I was also reminded that I am to love my wife the way Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25). In loving me, Jesus took the burden of my sin upon himself (I Peter 2:24). What this meant for me was this: irregardless of who was right or wrong for the gap that had developed, I was to move into the gap and carry the emotional burden.
So, men this is my challenge. It will not be easy. You will want to justify, excuse and run away. But you need to come forth humbly, accept the burden of the conflict, stand in the gap, and lovingly give yourself to your wife, in wanting to meet her emotional needs. It does not matter what she thinks, does and says. Someone has to carry the consequences of the conflict. That needs to be the “MAN.” That, men, is real leadership. It takes courage and spiritual strength, to stand in “the gap” between you and your wife, and take the heat. I’m warning you, you will need mercy and grace to love your wife the way Jesus loved the church. “”They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. (I Peter 2:23 – Message). You might have to suffering in silence.