"Love is hard to offend and quick to forgive."
"When under pressure, love doesn't turn sour. Minor problems don't yield major reactions."
Am I a joy or a jerk?
Reasons we become irritable: Stress and selfishness.
Stress- I think this is my big one. I know it. My life is a tough balancing act- even when I've dropped as much as I can and work to keep myself from being overloaded. Often, my stress turns to irritability brought on by the home crunch... My job creates a lot of stress. Just the being away from home for a full time job is a major stress when it comes to taking care of everything and everyone. Being a mother to young children who are fully needy and dependent is a huge stress. And when we get rushed or the kids aren't cooperating... I know I can get irritable.
Selfishness- "Being easily angered is an indicator that a hidden area of selfishness or insecurity is present where love is supposed to rule." In addition to, or along with, selfishness, there is lust, bitterness, greed, and pride. Love is the opposite of those things. Love brings in the calm.
"Love will lead you to forgive instead of holding a grudge. To be grateful instead of greedy. To be content rather than rushing into more debt. Love encourages you to be happy when someone else succeeds rather than lying awake at night in envy. It reminds you to prioritize your family rather than sacrifice them for a promotion at work."
The focus is responding to your spouse with patience, kindness, love. Letting go of the things that are darkening your heart so that your family is filled with the love you have for them.
A challenge, for sure. I can be riding a total love high and then a preschooler meltdown can ruin my mood... or my husband's gloominess can bring me down. I have to remember that I love the people who are having a hard time... and respond to them with love.
Choose to be loving instead of irritable. Make a list of areas where you need to give more time. List any wrong motivations that are driving you that need to be released.
"Where do you need to add margin to your life? When have you recently overreacted? What was your real motivation behind it? What decisions have you made today?"
I did have moments of irritability and thoughtfully and purposefully chose love instead. But it was hard. And I don't know that I can (or even should) have to be the one who is always pleasant, never irritated. Maybe love is never irritated but a person sure can be. And I think there are situations where it is warranted. Where irritation is what happens because the other person is having a negative impact on the family.
Love isn't a free pass.
So are there areas for me to improve? Always. Are there areas for him to improve? Certainly. We have to do it together. I'll keep giving out what I want to get back... I'll keep putting out the love I feel and have and choose.