I am from Wisconsin (home of the Badgers!) and proud of it. But to actually “badger” someone is not something to be proud of.
My thesaurus says: “To pester or annoy somebody continually. Harass, hassle, press…” You get the picture.
Dear husband pointed something out today. While the house looked like someone took a stick and stirred it, the web site project for my sister wasn’t working (and he found me screaming at the computer screen), the laundry was piling up and friends were saying, “Hello? Why haven’t you answered my email?” I tend to start micro-managing him.
When I can’t manage my own life, I try to manage (hen-peck, badger, brow-beat) him! I picked on various habits and things he was doing (but failed to mention how wonderful it is he always makes dinner). I discussed how I thought he was too lenient with our son (it would be better to be meaner?) and other jabs and stabs.
Later, the Holy Spirit reminded me that if I focused on what God was doing in my life and heart, I wouldn’t focus so much on the behavior of others. If I filled my vision with the undeserved gifts I’m enjoying daily, I wouldn’t waste my time obsessing about others’ perceived shortcomings.
I didn’t really want to face those deeper issues so I distracted myself by cruising around some of my favorite web sites. On Lysa Terkeurst’s site (http://lysaterkeurst.com) saw this list, and I had to stop avoiding the truth.
Her list made my heart sink:
Am I patient with my spouse? (I am flexible and understanding.) EPHESIANS 4:2-3
Am I kind to my spouse? (I am kind in thought, words, and actions toward them.) EPHESIANS 4:31-32
Am I supportive (not envious) with my spouse? (I do not keep score when I feel I do more.) JAMES 3:16-18
Am I encouraging (not boastful) to my spouse? (I do not brag about my accomplishment while downplaying theirs.) HEBREWS 3:13
Am I humble (not proud) with my spouse? (I do not think my agenda is more important than my spouse’s agenda.) 1 PETER 5:6
Am I gracious (not rude) to my spouse? (I build up my spouse with my words spoken in private and public.) EPHESIANS 4:29
Am I selfless (not self-seeking) with my spouse? (I focus on my spouse’s needs and wants and balance them with my own.) PHILIPPIANS 2:3-4
Am I self-controlled (not easily angered) with my spouse? (I do not have a short fuse or quick temper.) PROVERBS 15:1
Am I able to forgive and let go (keeping no record of wrongs) with my spouse’s shortcomings? (I do not use my spouse’s past shortcomings as ammunition in today’s disagreements or allow these things to taint our communication today.) COLOSSIANS 3:12-14
Do I delight in being faithful to God (not delighting in evil)? (I seek to live a pure life and choose not to flirt with sin.) EPHESIANS 4:1
Do I rejoice with the truth? (I actively pursue God’s truth over Satan’s lies.) JOHN 8:31- 32
Do I seek to protect my spouse? (I fill in the gaps where they feel weak and vulnerable.) 1 THESSALONIANS 5:11
Do I trust my spouse? (I give my spouse the benefit of the doubt.) 1 PETER 3:8
Do I keep hope alive in my marriage? (I trust God with “our” future, not “my” future.) JEREMIAH 29:11
No. No, and no. And no to that one as well. Oh, and you’d think I know better, but no.
The answer to “From whence cometh my help?” is not, “From a perfectly managed husband/marriage/life where nothing goes wrong or upsets me or worries me.”
The answer is, “My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121: 1-2).
No wonder I’m living in chaos and my mind and heart are in chaos. I’m trying to control other people instead of controlling my own mind and heart.
And while I’m not a Kings James only type a gal (I tend towards the NASB or NIV) I have always liked this verse to reorient my compass:
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” Isaiah 26:3.
I think it’s time to put that badger back in his burrow!