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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

When Silence Is NOT So Golden

I am quite QUIET these days.

Ever since the Lord convicted and changed me in September 1, 2013, I have been unnaturally quieter, much more than usual...

I keep to my thoughts, I read God's Word, I hold my tongue on instances where I would have not given it a second thought to speak my mind.

But, apparently my SILENCE still unnerves my hubby!

You see, back in those many years that I was a take-charge, unsubmissive, condescending wife, I used silence to "show" my husband that I was disappointed in him, that I was angry at him, or that I was not happy with the way things were. I was a "silent nagger". My silence was not golden; it was frozen. It could cut through my husband's heart and deflate his self-esteem faster than any of my spoken words. I was Mrs. Ice Princess when I was in one of my self-righteous modes.

So, yesterday, out of the blue, he mentioned it to me again, asking me if I was already PMSing, (I used to get the looniest, zaniest, seemingly demon-possessed PMSes in the world when the Lord still had not released me from my bondages) because I was getting more quiet than usual.

I told him, "Yes, I am PMSing", and asked him
"Why are you asking?"

He said that even though he has already seen so much changes in me and is quite happy about all of it, he still hasn't gotten over the silence. He honestly admitted that in the past, whenever I was in silent mode, he would blame himself again and again for failing to live up to my expectations, for failing to make me happy, for failing as a man and as a husband.

I told him, "Honey, I am no longer that old Nikka. Don't think for one second that when I am quiet, I am thinking of all those old thoughts that used to hog my mind."

"Yes, I know", he said. "But you've "trained" me to think that way. Even though I know that you are just hormonal, I still can't help but look within myself to find out if I have done anything to make you disappointed in me. I just convince myself that you are just PMSing and if you are mad at me, that it will pass when you get your period, or if you are not mad at me but just hormonal, that you will feel better afterwards... So, what I do is to just avoid you."

I told him, "Honey, you should just comfort me, or ask me how you can help me... just extend more grace when I am hormonal. You don't need to blame yourself and you don't need to avoid me!"

He said, "Okay, it's just hard to unlearn old reactions, when you have been using silence in the past, to let me know that you were again disappointed for something that I've done or haven't done."

It ended with me sharing about my whole conversion experience, how the Lord spoke to me, how the Spirit changed me, how Jesus saved me... This went on for two hours nonstop! I even got teary-eyed just recalling how the Lord had saved me from all bondages, so much so that when I am silent, he should no longer perceive it to be my way of being intolerant and irritated with him, but just that I perhaps needed more space than usual because I was/am hormonal. I told him that since I've started holding thoughts captive for Christ, he should not fear that I am again thinking of those old judgmental, prideful thoughts that I had against him back then.

Then, I said, "Here's what I could do. I could let you know that I am already in my PMSy stage, so that you could be forewarned and not take things personally."

He said, "Okay that would be good."

I have been in my biblical submission and respect journey for nine months, and SO MUCH has changed for the better within that period. It's been such a beautiful, peaceful, lovely journey and I wouldn't go back to my old self for anything -- not if you give me ten million pesos, not if you make me a superstar in some TV network, not if you promise me all the pleasures in the world. I have found the True Treasure, that is Jesus, and with Him and in Him, I hide and I live. I rest in God's Sovereignty and know that no matter what, I will be okay because He is in control.

One thing I have learned though from the "silent" concern my husband brought up just very recently was that, as old thoughts and behavior are replaced with new, godly ones, I should always do my best to validate my husband and somehow let him in on my thoughts. Too much silence in this case is not working. :P

Psalm 141:3

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;

    keep watch over the door of my lips!

So, I have given my husband the warning: To not take things seriously; to not take things personally; to not think that I am back to my former selfish, prideful behavior, but that I will be hormonal in the next few days... and any attempt to be more quiet than usual, is NOT because of my "problems" with him.

I am still relatively new in this respect and submission journey and I continue to hold things captive for Jesus and nowadays, I no longer let my emotions get the best of me. I boss them around, instead of allowing them to boss me!

2 Corinthians 10:5 

We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. 
We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

May we all be richly blessed! :)

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