Confession: I love “Modern Family”. That show makes. me. laugh. Especially Gloria, the Latina bombshell who is married to Jay, a curmudgeony Vietnam vet whose children are his wife’s age. Gloria is passionate to a fault and keeps her husband on his toes with her drama. The other night we watched an episode in which Gloria spent the entire day punishing Jay for something he didn’t remember doing—crying out “Baby, oh, baby!” in his sleep. She refused to tell him why she was mad and he spent the entire episode trying to figure it out until she finally confronted him. He told her that he had dreamt that their infant son crawled out onto a ledge; he was powerless to save their son and could only call to him—“Baby!” Gloria felt like a jerk.
It was funny, but at the same time, I criticized Gloria’s character in my heart. What kind of wife punishes her husband, especially for something he doesn’t have control over or even remember doing? Though it was a good laugh, I was slightly disgusted at the portrayal of selfishness and a lack of trust or grace in their marriage.
Silence. He wasn’t dozing—he was sound asleep.
“AARON!! AARON!!” He woke, startled and disoriented.
“You said you’d help me put garlic oil in my ear,” I harshly, hoarsely whispered, trying not to wake the baby.
He was discombobulated and couldn’t figure out what in the world I was talking about.
“Forget it,” I spat. “I’ll do it myself. Just go. back. to. sleep.”
I went back into the bathroom and discovered it’s not a big deal at all to put drops in your own ear.
The next morning Aaron kissed me goodbye as I slept and then texted me once he got to work so I would know he was safe and sound. When I saw the message on my phone, I grunted and put the phone down instead of responding like I do every other morning. He texted me mid morning and then again at lunch. Then again early afternoon.
I knew what was going on in my heart—I was mad at him for not getting up when I roused him the night before. I didn’t mind that he had fallen asleep—he works hard to provide for us, after all, and it was late. But I wanted him to have popped up, bright eyed with my ear being the most important thing on his mind. I wanted him to not be able to sleep soundly until my ear was taken care of. Yet because he had been asleep, I knew he wouldn’t even remember the episode, and I also knew he was not at fault for anything. I had nothing to legitimately be mad at him about, but I was mad nonetheless. And so I decided to “protect” him from my unjust anger by punishing him and not responding to his texts.
Mid day I was convicted of my selfishness. I texted him right away to restore our relationship.Then with a few minutes to spend online while the babies napped, I came across a Facebook post where a friend linked to a Valentine’s gift idea—a letter explaining to your husband how you will lovingly, sacrificially pray for him.
I cried. I wasn’t praying for my husband like that. I used to. I have in the distant past. But I’ve gotten distracted by babies and life and have allowed the priority of our marriage to fall to the wayside, preferring instead to coast and hope for the best.
Wiping tears, I checked my email. I had one from a very dear friend, Jackie, who was a college roommate. She is one of those friends I can tell anything and everything to without fear of condemnation. She gets me and she loves me anyway. Anyway, she was writing to ask me a question—did I remember about 2.5 years ago when we committed to praying for marriage for 100 days? Every day we had a different prayer that we prayed together over the miles. Sometimes I would blog and ask my readers to join us. Sometimes I would post an actual prayer. Other times I would just share my heart. Of course I remembered—that was a precious, hard, heart-breaking, beautiful 100 days. Jackie wanted to know if I were up for doing it again. She is that kind of wife—the kind who has become a student of her husband, who loves him in ways that make sense to him, who prays for him passionately. And she is the kind of friend who will pray for me any time I ask. She is a prayer warrior. Of course I would pray for 100 days with her again!
I laughed at how God set me up for Jackie’s request, exposing my own heart and attitudes, reminding me of my need for prayer and my need for input. And supplying the perfect person to love and encourage me while I take those baby steps of faith to get back to making my marriage my first relational priority.
Here is where you come in, friends—will you join us? Will you commit to praying for marriage for 100 days? It could be your marriage, your friends’ marriages, marriages you know are hurting, marriages that haven’t happened yet. Marriage in general. Marriages that are facing difficult challenges. You can have specific prayers or general prayers. Personal or generic.
We will start on Valentine’s Day and will be posting as many specific prayer requests as time allows us busy mamas. I would love to promise to post one every day, but I can only promise to do my best. Please consider joining us in praying for this beautiful, God-designed institution that delivers so much joy and love and heartache and challenge and promise to our lives.