Being Irritatingly Human

You’ve felt it. 
I know.
The Christmas shopping season is in full swing. Black Friday’s already a distant maniacal memory. And it feels like Cyber Monday was a thousand clicks and shopping carts ago.
So if you haven’t felt that ever-familiar spirit of the season (i.e. “Bah-humbug!”) while shopping down the crowded aisles of Walmart or TJ Maxx, then perhaps you’re in a coma or popping so many Zanex that Sugar Plums are literally doing the Electric Slide in the synapses of your brain.
Allow me to back up just a bit—24 Christmas’ ago to be exact. 
It was my first Christmas with my new hubby and we’d probably already had about “12 days of fighting” … subtract 10 Lords a Leaping and insert 10 or more attempts to Lord our opinions over each other, and subtract 8 Maids a Milking and insert 8 or more attempts to milk the argument for all its worth and you get the picture.
In other words, during that Christmas holiday, I was—in a word—irritating. And yes, my husband probably was also. We were both being irritatingly human. But what I find monumental about that time as I look back now, I simply couldn’t wrap my brain around the fact that this state of being irritating was inescapable … for me.
Sure, I could imagine that my husband was irritating, but I couldn’t accept the fact that I had any fault in the matter. After all, to have faults meant that I was damaged goods. And who wants damaged goods? In my mind, all that having faults—or more importantly, admitting that I had them—meant to me was …



So when my husband begged me to be honest about my part in a disagreement or conflict, I felt like he was crazy. I felt like he was asking me to draw the biggest target on my forehead, so that he could take aim … and fire!

Yeah, sure! Sign me up for some of that!
But I remember one day as I was reading my Bible, I came across 1 John 1:8 … 
“If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (NCV)
I had read that verse so many times in the past and it had never hit me between the eyes so deeply before. Remember, that target on my forehead? I didn’t know that God had his sights set on me too! But the reality was that God didn’t want to reject me or destroy me with those words. He wanted to give me a freedom that I’d been running from for far too long.
On that day … (and day after day thereafter), I learned to speak the truth. I had to admit my fault, my sins, my irritating humanness. And when I did, an amazing thing happened—the target dropped off my forehead.  
My husband embraced me—warts and all
There was (and is) a freedom in accepting my humanity, my brokenness, because … 
God is the Great Redeemer of all things broken.
But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right. He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done. 1 John 1:9 (NCV)

Photo – Timsnell (Flickr)

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  1. vision4thearts says:

    This is beautiful and eye opening. Accepting our flaws can be one of the hardest things, and allowing someone to love us with our flaws is one of the hardest parts of marriage in my opinion.

  2. smiles. there is a certain humility i allowing our faults to show, but it can do amazing things in our marriages…and i am glad he accepted you that way…very cool….

  3. Ro elliott says:

    the younger in marriage and in life we learn this…oh my how much more beautiful this life can become…great word…especially for those in the younger years of their marriage…

  4. Thanks for this. I keep remembering the Christmas of the BIG FIGHT. My husband got mad and drove to AC, NJ and didn’t come back for 2 days. Why is this the Christmas I remember so clearly. Fortunately, that will never happen again. ’cause I’ll follow him and get a bigger and better room and order room service and buy all new clothes. I love Christmas and I love forgiveness and loving each other through the fights. 🙂

  5. messymarriage says:

    You really are a “happy girl!” Choosing to forgive brings happiness. So glad that you’re “loving him through the fights” too. I think that kind of perseverance is rare … and honorable! Yay, Happygirl! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. messymarriage says:

    I agree that younger people are more susceptible to this. I had a younger audience in mind when I wrote it, but I still sometimes (old as I am) fall prey to the unfounded fear that being authentic will mean rejection. It will probably be a lifelong battle for me. And as I’ve seen in my counseling practice, a lifelong battle for many others–young and old.

    Thanks, Ro, for your kind words and for stopping by!

  7. messymarriage says:

    I’m trying so hard to learn from the humility that Christ had. It’s an uphill climb with concrete shoes! haha! Thanks for stopping by Brian. I always look forward to your posts and comments too!

  8. messymarriage says:

    Amen! It truly is one of the hardest tasks of life and marriage. I wish more people were masters of this lost art form. Thanks for your encouragement!

  9. I get this, I so get this. Amen for learning to speak our truth, for learning that we can open up and be loved as we are.

  10. messymarriage says:

    I’m so glad that this resonates with you. I always love meeting someone who embraces humility and authenticity. From the looks of your post today, it looks like you do, Janae. And for that I’m glad we met on this slice of cyberspace. 🙂

  11. oh how blessed we are, friend, to know such love…

  12. I really needed this today. Thanks Beth. 🙂