36 Hour Sulking Period Required

I didn’t want to go alone. I had planned for the whole family to make the trip to Georgia and dreaded doing the driving by myself. Unfortunately, my husband had other plans. Granted, his plans were worthwhile. They were perhaps even critical to the financial future of our family, but that was beside the point.

I didn’t want to go alone.

My daughter helped load the car as I drug my feet, hunched my shoulders and scowled at every living creature that crossed my path. Both kids were breathing with caution as the last bag was loaded into the car. Sensing I was on the edge, my oldest finally braved an attempt at conversation. She suggested a stop at the corner coffee shop which meant she really just wanted her favorite drink. Clever, I thought, as I forced an indifferent reply while somewhat considering the idea. Sadly, I doubted even a pumpkin spice latte would bring a smile to my face.

As we ventured onto the interstate, I pondered the appropriate time period to be angry over this situation. I considered the severity of the offense and the inconvenience I was experiencing. I took a survey of the pros and cons and solicited feedback from friends and family but only listened to those that supported my anger. It was just as I was about to lower my gavel sentencing my husband to a 36 hour sulking period that I heard that familiar small voice interrupt the verdict.

“I am Love and if you abide in Me and My words abide in you then you are love. Now what is Love?”

Sometimes I can be so stubborn. I didn’t necessarily want to hear what God was saying but I stepped down from my judgment seat and thought about 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  1 Corinthians 13:4-7

“It keeps no record of wrongs…”

There are moments when you feel like a heel yet you can’t stop being grumpy or snapping at everyone around you. With every last shred of joy I had left, I reassured my children that I was not about to expose them to an explosion rivaling Mount Vesuvius. I was caught. I was wrong. I couldn’t enforce my sentence on my husband. I had to change my attitude and even apologize. Not what I wanted to hear!

I gradually adjusted to the idea and chuckled to myself thinking how amazing it was that the God of the universe just reminded me not to punish my husband and kids for a minor inconvenience. As I broke out in a full-fledged belly laugh, my startled children looked at each other wondering if I’d officially lost it. Within minutes we were all laughing and I apologized not only to them but to the man I married.

God used this opportunity to remind me that the enemy sets traps for us daily. He is determined to cause anger, hurt feelings, and strife. After all how can we be an effective instrument in the hands of God if we can’t stop barking at each other?

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.  Ephesians 4:26-27


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