I often deal with my frustration by blaming my husband. He is an easy target. And because he is often conveniently close by, I can throw my personal frustrations at him.
Yes, he knows something is wrong but has no idea what. He is not a mind reader as much as I would like him to be.
I have begun to look at my frustrations, anger and resentments as signals that the problem is not with the person I am blaming.
Often, we blame our partner for the way we feel about our day or even the past. We cast ourselves as the victim and our partner as the villain.
Relationship experts Katie and Gay Hendricks describe it this way:
“If you feel you are being wronged and want things to change in your relationship, BEING THE VICTIM NEVER WORKS!”
Denying my emotions and the real reason for my frustration (anger, resentment) by blaming an unsuspecting family member creates a vicious cycle that keeps building up inside until it explodes.
Though I feel better blaming someone else, I am not getting to the root of the problem.
My frustration has become a clear signal that I am avoiding the real issues.
Sometimes, I feel like Shammah, one of David’s mighty men. The Philistines were attacking Israel and he was holding on to his lentil patch for dear life. He was ready to fight for it.
“After him was Shammah . . . once during a Philistine attack, when all his men deserted him and fled, he stood alone at the center of a field of lentils and beat back the Philistines, and God gave him a great victory.” (2 Samuel 23:11 TLB)
As Shammah prepared for battle, his men deserted him, leaving Shammah alone.
Now he could have blamed his predicament on these men, but they were not the enemy — the Philistines were. That is who he needed to fight.
But so often we want to fight the wrong thing — blame our husband or our family for our problems.
I am learning to fight for my freedom, defend my lentil patch and my peace of mind, but the key is recognizing who the real enemy is.
I know that the root of my frustration is not with my husband. My problems often lie with me taking on too much in a day. I had become a slave to other people’s needs — people who I love and care about.
Saying “no,” when I need to, being clear about what I want and recognizing that I may be dealing with deeper issues will keep me grounded in my personal emotional battles.
This is how I will defend my lentil patch (peace of mind) and protect myself from my enemies (anger, resentment and frustration).
Claiming responsibility and acknowledging that the problem lies within is the weapon that will enable God to give me a great victory!
One of the names of God is Jehovah-Shammah, literally the God who is there (Ezekiel 48:35). Only when we acknowledge what the real issues are can God step in and help us.