Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Towel folding can lead to adultry

I know.  That's one of the craziest titles I've put on this blog.  I promise that I'm not taking hallucinogenic drugs.  I know you're wondering what the two have in common, and maybe you're wondering if you need to do a little something different with your bathroom laundry rituals.

It's not about the act of towel folding, it's the attitude. (So don't run in and refold all of your towels!)  Let me expand on my our Rich's thoughts. (Yes, he was the mastermind behind this crazy example.)

Rich and I attended the wedding of a wonderful couple that are looking at many years of blissful marriage - as they take each "marriage hurdle" in stride.  Those hurdles, no matter how small, can either be an opportunity to grow and get stronger as a couple OR they will trip them up and be the cause of injury and a failed marriage.  Small hurdles such as how to fold towels.

"Hogwash" you may say...if you're from the South.  If you are from other areas of the country, you might simply choose to say, "Nonsense".  Well, let's see...

Anyone that is married remembers those first months of "true discovery" after the wedding.   In those first few months, all masks come down and get shoved in a drawer.  You begin to see each other with bed head and no make up.  You end up picking up each others dirty underwear out of the floor.  You  pull your jeans out of the washing machine with pink streaks on them, because they were washed with red towels.  Those, as shocking as they are, do not stand up to the most revealing things that can rock the world of newlyweds.  No, sometimes it is the fact that "she" doesn't make pot roast exactly like your mother or "he" doesn't know how to fix the toilet anything like your dad.  Or, maybe it's that the other doesn't ever make the bed unless you are having company and he/she DOESN'T FOLD THE TOWELS RIGHT!! (Gasp)

Such shock and frustration comes when we discover that every household in America doesn't fold the bath towels exactly like Momma taught us to fold them.  And we are certain that WE do it the right way.  Remember how you would go in and pull them out of the cabinet and refold them?  (Maybe you didn't, but let's just say that someone in our house did...)  Small things can grow into great points of contention.  Little hairline fractures begin to show up in the marriage foundation.  Our attitude towards our spouse begins to sour.  Add that to the discovery that he/she doesn't handle finances like you and you've got yourself a problem.  Suddenly her prince charming on a big white horse begins to look like a hobo riding up on a donkey or his Juliet begins to look and sound like the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz.

Ephesians four is a great chapter in dealing with this sort of problem.  Ephesians 4:2-4 says, "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."  That is certainly one of the main goals within a marriage but that isn't always easy when selfish desires and pride step in the way.  When something isn't done the way we think it should be done.  When living with someone in peace, love and unity turns out to be way more difficult than we expected.  Even when we do all the right things before we get married (abstain from premarital sex, do devotionals together, have all the needed deep discussions, do premarital counseling, establish the habit of praying together every day etc.)  "Little" hurdles become massive chasms.  Ephesians 4:26-27 goes on to tell us, "26 In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold."

It's easy to blow up on your spouse about those towels being folded the wrong way.  In that angry outburst you say all the wrong things in all the wrong ways.  Anger is not a bad thing, it's what you do with it.  It's towels.  Really?  Is it really a battle you need to fight?  Maybe you're a stuffer so you stuff that frustration and anger deep inside to be used as a weapon at a later time.  We easily find ourselves getting angrier and angrier over unmet expectations.  Each and every instance gives the enemy a foothold in our lives.  And when we hang on to that anger a root of bitterness begins to grow and the enemy ends up with more than his foot in the door of our life.

Hebrews 12:15 (NLT) says, "15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many."  A poisonous root of bitterness.  Another translation said to, "watch your thoughts about others".  The poisonous thoughts that we start having about our spouse over small hurdles, such as folding towels, will lead to bitterness and will poisonous us and many around us.  Not only will the enemy take us down but he'll take down many people around us.  That foothold he has because of our anger and thoughts about some silly towels will turn into a stronghold in our mind which ends up leading us deeper and deeper into sin.  Those poisonous thoughts will lead us into believing that our spouse will never meet our needs, we'll never be happy with them, this marriage is a joke, etc. etc. and before you know it, we're looking for someone else to fulfill our needs.  In walks adultry. (Or some other type of sin.)

The enemy loves to sneak into our lives through our thoughts.  The next time you get angry about something your spouse did or didn't do, take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to bring truth and revelation to you about the situation.  When you let Him lead you, those small hurdles will bring growth instead of injury.

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