If I Knew Then What I Know Now …


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It’s really easy to say, “If I knew then what I know now ___ ,” and well fill in the blank on about almost anything. Like the famous saying goes, it seems Hinds Sight is 20/20. But life is the learning curve … we are richer people because of our journeys and the lessons we’ve learned. Some lessons in life are learned by watching the mistakes of others and trying not to repeat them. While other lessons are learned, well … the “hard way”.

Awww … the hard way. That’s what this (after 12 years of marriage which seems like so little and yet so long) mini blog series is all about! Things I laugh about now but seemed utterly traumatizing then. And seriously go ahead, learn from my mistakes and it’s ok, you can laugh at me too!

This blog series (Part 1, 2 and 3) will contain my top 5 things I would have done differently,

If I knew then what I know now …

1.) I would have let my husband go to sleep!

You see when we got married we were zealous Christian idealists (well maybe that was just me :) ) who had just recently graduated Bible College. We had heard so many teachings and sermons on marriage we thought we were well equipped with scripture and knowledge to get us through anything that came our way. Except you are never quite ready to realize that anything includes battles with your own pride and selfishness, not so much what you know or think you know, no matter how zealous you are! How many of us have heard this scripture?

“In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

Ephesians 4; 26-27

In my first two years of marriage I totally misinterpreted this scripture!  If my husband and I had a disagreement around 10pm-ish, I was like (in my best short fiery women voice) … “We are not going to bed angry! We are going to work this thing out because I say ‘Heck No!’ to any Devil footholds!” And then I would keep him up talking and talking until our eyes were heavy and our brains were confused about what we started talking about anyway. There would be little resolve as I crawled into bed and lay stiff on my side, because I’m telling you, not even his toe better touch me. :)

It took a few years but I did finally learn that the scripture in Ephesians was addressing my anger and that I have the ability to deal with that in my own heart, surrendering it to God before I close my eyes. It’s NOT about me judging whether or not my husband has dealt with his anger or that we have accomplished resolve as couple. I am accountable for my heart first. I have to own my anger and submit it to the Lord regardless if my husband does and then I need to move on and pick love. Easier said then done you may think … of course! How else would character be built or true love perfected?  Rest assure after 12 years in the school of marriage my husband sleeps better now.

If I knew then what I know now …

2.) I’d know being right is NOT worth being wrong!

Have you ever heard that saying usually while someone is throwing his or her hand in the air, “That was sooo wrong!” Ya, that’s the wrong I’m taking about, behavior that is wrong not the position in a debate or the documenting of facts on paper.

Wrong actions and responses demean your ability to be heard even if you’re right. Which is what I thought I was most of the time and prided myself on saying I was wrong when I was, which was rarely (sarcasm intended 😉 ).

I confessed to my husband early on that I had a certain weakness; that I thought I was right more than I thought I was wrong. I then continued to tell him I couldn’t help it if it was true that I was usually … right. Cringe or laugh at me now, pain only followed.

You see there where so many times I was so right but my actions were sooo WRONG … it didn’t matter if I was right because I had failed at what love and relationships are really about. I chose to wound my spouse with my words and attitude. I pushed his heart away with my pride and ultimately it hurt me because we are a team and I had one man down, what was worse is I had done it.

Learning humility in marriage … wow … that can be a doozy! In order for humility to be cultivated pride has to die and, I’ll tell you what, he doesn’t like going down easy. Insert encouragement here; it is possible to harness the beast of pride. Praise God there was still hope for me!

I had to learn to take it to Jesus and then take him (pride) down. You see Jesus is a good listener and when I went to him he didn’t mind me going on and on about how right I was even until I was out of breath and tears. He would usually gently say, “Are you done now? because it’s time to choose love.” Choosing love is a loaded statement. It means choosing to believe the best. (1 Corin. 13:3-5) It’s not keeping a record of wrong. It’s not being prideful or boastful.  It’s kind and not easily angered. It does lay down it’s life … It’s Jesus … in us.

The ultimate question is … Can I be Jesus to my husband when I’m right? Can I say less and listen more? Can I run to my closet and throw my fit there, inviting Jesus into my pain or anger, and then choose my words wisely?

I don’t want anyone to get disillusioned or place what I’ve shared on any kind of pedestal; let it be known I can still throw a pretty good fit! The lesson I’ve learned is not how not to throw a fit or never get “upset” for the less dramatic …  it’s about where I throw my fit. If I take it to Jesus, he helps me take pride down before I say something or take actions that would make any hand fly while saying, “That is Sooo wrong!” :)

End of Part 1

I will post Part 2 on Monday 1/3/11

… Marriage takes a teachable spirit and the heart of a warrior! Love is worth fighting for, even if both warriors have been wounded by the past. God’s love in us is bigger!


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  6. Heather

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