The "Whine" Tour
Complaints! We all have them. Most of our complaints, big or small, are attached to valid reasoning; however, the storms of life are teaching me a thing or two about the dangers of complaining. First I will talk about my own sin of complaining. Being married for 19 years and now widowed, being a mother of 3 and a special needs mom/caregiver, trust me, I have plenty to whine about. In my own head, I have a right to and many people who love me would agree; however, I have learned the hard way by my personal experiences and by observing others as well, complaining is not a good solution!
Let's talk about marriage, so much involved in one little word right? Marriage isn't easy. Marriage is two very different people (male and female, just sayin) from very different backgrounds, families, traditions, baggage, joining together in the attempt to create an ambiance of love, harmony, unity and little humans. Now you see why it is so important for God to be in the picture? This is not an easy task and there will be conflict, disagreements, surprises and disappointments along the way. So what do we usually do at the work place or when we are with friends, we complain about our spouse, of course. We complain about the dirty clothes on the floor, the snoring, the toilet seat being up, the cooking. I had a long list of complaints and although I didn't really complain publicly as much, I still had my internal gripes and reasons to be unhappy and it was all his fault. Add on the element of children and we are swimming in an ocean of complaints: the lack of sleep, the potty training, the homework, the noise, the messes, the expenses, the fact that they must be fed every day. Haha, maybe I am using this post to actually complain. The list goes on and on, endless reasons to complain and be unhappy in our present situation.
I knew a person who worked for a company for about 20+ years; after awhile, this person began to
complain about situations at work. A few complaints were no problem, sometimes this person just needed to vent, but the complaining became so constant that this person's demeanor began to darken, this person lost her joy. After years of this pattern, this person's life changed forever; an illness hit causing this person to quit her job and go on permanent disability. She could no longer work. After a recent conversation this person openly expressed her regrets of complaining so much because now she would give anything to return to work. I know this feeling of deep regret, after my husband died I have been constantly replaying the (now considered) stupid complaints I made, wishing I had made the most of every moment together instead of focusing and complaining about his shortfalls. Of course, this will now lead me nowhere because it is too late. I now seek God's healing and grace in this area of regrets and useless woulda, coulda, shoulda's.
Don't get me wrong, we all complain, I complain, but there is a difference between a random gripe, venting and letting it go, and talking the death out of something until it affects you emotionally to the point where you don't want to see your spouse or be with your kids or get up in the morning to go to work. Constant complaining steals our joy and, in turn, we steal the joy of others. A consistently complaining person isn't good company at all.
So what should we do when that whirlwind of complaints invade our mind?
About your job, co-workers, boss, pay...be thankful you have a job! Give thanks to God for your job and pray for the difficult people around you; bring your income needs before God as well, He will provide.
About your spouse, ask yourself "does this really matter? Is it really worth getting bitter over? How long does it really take to pick up a dirty sock or put down toilet seat? Love your spouse, show grace to your spouse. You never know how long you have with them. I say this from personal experience.
Your children getting on your last nerve? That's their job, hahaha and most likely demonstrating a little or a lot of mom or dad's worse traits. Again, love them, pour grace on them and their lives, one day they will grow up and we will wish they were in our kitchen spilling or breaking something.
This applies to every single relationship and even our experience at the local grocery store. A slow cashier, a grumpy server. We don't know what news they just received or what storm they are trying to sail through in their own lives.
"Blessed are the merciful and they shall receive mercy ' Matthew 5:7
"in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thes. 5:18
Til next time...