1 Corinthians 13:11 English Standard Version
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
As true as this scripture should be, nothing can expose the immaturity behind a grown woman or man quite like marriage. We may be able to go to work and handle conflict with sage wisdom and maturity and come home and throw a toddler-grade tantrum for our spouses.
I’m not speaking from the outside looking in; I’m speaking from experience. Plenty of arguments have left both my husband and I walking around like pouty five-year-olds with our arms folded. As much as we may have thought we had given up our childish ways, in the heat of the moment we can end up speaking, thinking and reasoning like children.
If you don’t think that you ever bring those childish ways into the present, I’ve listed a few preschool behaviors that I see in marriages.
Speaking: Do you get mad and say things like “We should just get a divorce!” or “Don’t expect any sex from me!”What you’re really saying:“I don’t wanna be your friend no more and don’t play with my toys!”
Thinking: Are your needs always the ones you think of first? Are you always thinking of ways to get what you want by testing your spouse’s boundaries- pushing the limits further and further? These are classic toddler behaviors that you should have left behind years ago.
Reasoning: Do you consider doing things that you know will be detrimental to your marriage and justify doing them because they make you happy? Kind of reminds me of my three-year-old climbing on the counter to get a fruit snack when he’s not supposed to and responding “but I wanted it!” when reprimanded.
Today’s challenge is to pick one area where you could stand to use a little more maturity and work on it. Maybe it’s screaming and yelling when you want to be heard. Maybe it’s storming out when you get upset. I’m going to work on pouting when I get mad (my three-year-old has nothing on me when it comes to sulking!) You may have a few kiddie tactics that you need to get under control, but for this week, try to focus on just one.
What childish behavior will you try to reign in this week?