Do everything without grumbling or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation." Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky...
It was the little jabs that piled up over the years. I'm certain my former love drove down the road with the exact same thoughts running through her head as the damsel above has floating above hers.
She might ask, "How was your day?" And my exhausted self would say something like, "How do you think it was?! I was digging holes half the day and on a 32' extension ladder for the second half..." Or, "Hey (nickname)! Could you go to the store for me?" And my response was to always be the "humble servant" but I'd let out a "sigh" and go with a grudge - making it known that I was indeed a "humble servant". Perhaps she'd need help with a few steps on a computer program she was working with and I'd respond with, "You still can't do that on your own?" The odd thing is that, though I might have been exhausted at the end of the day, I was fine. I didn't even care to go to the store at all. I was happy to head to the store for whatever she needed. And, I loved being the person who could help her follow through with her project that she was organizing on the computer.
So what was it that made anger lead the way and my tongue lash out? Why didn't I listen to her requests, process those requests, and follow through with a grateful heart? It was pride and selfishness. It was me feeling sorry for myself. It was disappointment in who I was. Instead of following the Christ example that I had been raised to follow, I made a ridiculous amount of effort to make every situation about me. Internally it was, "What about what I need?", "What about what I want to be doing right now?", "What about how tired I am?" Me, me, me, me, me, me, me... It never seemed to be about, 'What can I do for you to build you up, to help you, to make your life easier, to bring you peace and joy.'
I knew better.
My former wife has told me that around 2008 was the year she stopped loving me. I wish we had addressed it all then...this song came out in 2004. That was about 10 years into my marriage. I remember being at work, hearing this play in the background and thinking, "Good grief, this is about me. I need to quit grumbling and jabbing and having an attitude that creates strife..." Then I'd go home and forget all about my conviction.
The Delgados wrote several beautiful songs about relationships. In "I Fought the Angels", I can hear true sentiment in Emma Pollock's voice as she sings, "Run conversations in my head - Write my own scripts to dish the dread." If you are in the middle of a bad relationship, stop grumbling and stop arguing and stop 'writing scripts' to get the last word in. Love that wonderful person you are sharing your life with and do whatever it takes to secure joy in their soul.