A Helpful Phrase for When You’re Frustrated with your Spouse

Let me paint the picture for you.

It’s late in the day. The kids are still doing homework because they forgot about the project that’s due tomorrow. The dishes from dinner still aren’t done. There are emails to return that have stacked up from the day at work, and a couple of the kids seem only to be entertained by intentionally picking at each other. And this is all after a long day of zoom meetings, challenging conversations with workers, and navigating the new workplace in light of current economic realities.

In short, “home” is a power keg. Everyone is ready to snap, including mom and dad. It seems inevitable that someone is going to end up in tears, their emotional nose bloodied by a well placed verbal jab. And with every passing second, your nerves become more and more frayed. The bomb is ready to explode and everyone is going to get hit with the shrapnel. In such times, there is a phrase that, if both you and your spouse can remember, can help you make it through the breaking point:

“We’re on the same team.”

That’s easy to forget during times like these, when work is still on your mind, dishes have to be done, and everyone is a little overextended from the day. It’s during times like that, in my selfishness, I can easily convince myself that I stand alone. That the children have conspired against me to make my life harder. That my spouse doesn’t understand the burdens and pressures of my life. That I am a lone ranger in the house.

But I’m not. And to assume I am is a subtle and destructive form of pride that is centered on my rights, my desires, and my preferences.

“We’re on the same team.”

When any of us are tempted to think we are going at this parenting and life thing alone, the phrase helps us realize our foolishness. If that is true, then there is no nefarious motive behind the request to help with the dishes. There is no evil intent behind the child asking for help with homework.

“We’re on the same team.”

And not only us. For God has joined us together in this fight – the fight for our home, for order, for the extension of grace. And what God has joined together, no man should separate. Least of all me. But that’s exactly what I’m trying to do when I firmly assume my status as the nightly martyr.

Remember, husbands. Remember, wives: We’re on the same team. You’re not being internally and subversively sabotaged. Remember it, and tell it to each other. Feel the weight begin to lift. Look back at the paranoia with which you have been afflicted. Believe in the good intentions of your spouse.

Now you’re ready. Not alone. Together. For God has given us the gift of each other.

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