I initially thought about writing this article as a parody, but given the intensity of the pandemic’s impact on our emotional and psychological well-being, I decided to share my experiences as a wife during the community quarantine instead.
A lot of people have been sharing the positive outcome of this lockdown. They said it gave Mother Nature the time to heal. Some said it also gave opportunities for sharing, helping, and praying for others. Another benefit is we now have more time to strengthen family ties.
Learning All About The Complexity Of The Human Behavior
This last one is good, but I know some of you will agree it’s not as easy as it sounds. We all know that one of the complex concepts in this world is the human relationship. We were all created uniquely with varying personalities and characteristics.
Combine a group of different people in one room and one way or the other, there will be a clash of personalities. And also, let’s not forget domestic violence and how it can be aggravated during these times. This last one though is a serious case that requires professional intervention and assistance.
Some people felt awful they had to spend community quarantine alone, and yet some really wish this would end because they’re getting on each other’s nerves. The latter cannot be avoided. It is actually beneficial to get to know each other better and adjust accordingly regardless if this is a roommate, a sibling, a spouse, a relative, a parent, or a neighbor.
A Tale Of Two Lovers
That’s the case between me and my husband. This is, by far, the longest time we’ve spent together 24/7 since we got married back in 2015. And yet I appreciate the fact that my husband and I can spend even more quality time together now. I wouldn’t want any person to spend quarantine with other than him but next to God, of course. 🙂
Every single day, I discover something new about my husband. But since we’re the total opposite of each other, just imagine how hard it was for us to maneuver through this quarantine like gliding on smooth waters. On the contrary, it was like being back to the first few months of us being married. 😀
Seeing God In Others
Don’t get me wrong though. Most of our days together were spent meaningfully, peacefully, and happily. But as days turned to weeks and then now nearing to months, there were days when we would easily get irritated over something trivial because there were only the two of us in the house. And yet this setup reminded me how things are going to be when we grow old together.
I believe other families, parents, or married couples can relate to our experience. An example is when kids start to fight over who gets to use the iPad next or who will throw the trash out. Or when a parent gets irritated because all the kids are hooked on their gadgets all day long. Another instance would be sharing a room with a sibling you just don’t get along with very well.
God’s Eyes Are On Every Household
My husband and I would have some disagreements every now and then, and we’d both sulk and give each other a cold and silent treatment afterward. But since we live in a condo, it just doesn’t work very long given the very small space. 😅
I’d have to interact with him one way or the other and whether I like it or not because we’re just too close to one another, and yes, we only have each other. In fact, this was the case last week when we had our first huge fight during the quarantine.
Dealing With Differences
I told hubby to try cooking a new dish, and he’s also willing but he wanted me to teach him the step-by-step process. I’m a teacher, but given the heavy demands lately at home, I quipped a remark that offended him.
I told him to research how it’s done and to not get used to me spoon feeding him with how everything works here at home. Hubby explained he doesn’t learn new things that way, and I insisted that I learned new things that way and he should give it a try.
When Opposites Repel
Since hubby and I have such totally different backgrounds and upbringing, we somehow clash with how we do things at home. My mistake here was that I could’ve been more patient. But no, I guess the enemy took advantage of this sensitive situation to bring us back to our old fights.
Hubby retaliated with harsher words that made me do the same. And in the heated discussion, I just broke down and cried. I guess all those heavy emotions I’ve been keeping these past months just all welled up on me.
Trying To Play God
And my last retort to my hubby was, “you couldn’t see my pain and understand how I feel because God is not in you.” Then hubby retaliated by saying he’d leave once this quarantine is over.
I told him that he can do it now if he wants to because he just doesn’t care about me knowing we can get the virus anytime, and I’d be alone here if ever I get sick. Then, after saying that, I went inside the bedroom sobbing.
When Pride Gets In The Way
Hubby followed me and apologized saying he couldn’t just leave me here, especially not this time. But I guess the enemy just took hold of my pride, so I didn’t accept his apology and told him to leave me and I wouldn’t want to talk to him for the rest of the day. This happened around lunchtime.
I took a pitcher of water and crackers because I planned on fasting for the day. I was crying so much that the only thing I could do was grab my devotion notebook, read my daily devotion, and pray, all at the same time.
A Cold Heart Has No Room For God
I can hear my husband cooking in the kitchen and watching a cooking video. I felt awful that I didn’t help him out. But then again, pride just got in the way and I told myself that I won’t forgive him because he just hurt me a lot with his awful words. But no, he didn’t curse nor shout.
I finished my devotion and yet there was still hatred in my heart. I was somehow expecting him to come back and apologize again, which I know he wouldn’t do because I already turned him down the first time he did it.
Don’t Let The Sun Go Down Angry
Then, the entire afternoon passed by until came midnight. I can hear him scuffling in the living room and washing the cooking utensils so I assumed he has already eaten.
My heart was so heavy and I kept on praying like how Jesus prayed to God while He was on the Cross. That may He take this cup of suffering from me and yet not my will but let His will be done.
Thorn In A Flesh
I guess at this point the enemy came close to blinding me with lies. He almost succeeded but I guess God heard my prayer. I thought so negatively about my husband that I saw him as the “thorn in my flesh” who tempts me to sin.
Thorn in my flesh. I looked up that phrase on the internet and I found one article from Desiring God. There was my rebuke. John Piper said in the article that a thorn in the flesh is a beautiful gift but it comes with so much pain.
God’s Power Works Best In Weakness
And yet this is the pain where God reveals our weakness because it is in our weakness that His power works best. His Grace will be displayed in our weakness. But no, my heart remained stubborn. I don’t want to talk to him and make amends.
But I guess the Spirit just won’t allow it I let the sun go down angry and with bitterness against my husband. Then, a chapter in the Bible came into my mind (Matthew 24) on how Jesus speaks about the future – how loved ones and friends will betray believers.
Jesus Speaks About The Future
I wanted to reread it just to know if it’s already happening now between me and my husband. I read the NLT version of the entire chapter, and yet betrayal of loved ones and friends in particular wasn’t mentioned.
So I read the entire chapter again and again until the last couple of verses resonated with me deeply. I guess this time Scripture was able to break down the wall of lies that the enemy has placed in my heart.
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
– Matthew 24:45-51
Am I A Good Servant?
These verses are all about being a faithful and sensible servant and how God appointed him to look after other servants in the household and feed them. And that those who wouldn’t do what God has instructed will be torn into pieces and thrown into a pit where there will be gnashing of teeth.
I really felt like it was literally God’s message for me during this misunderstanding with my husband. Yes, I didn’t feed him and serve him, literally with food and figuratively of God’s love. God’s messages during this pandemic that kept on popping up in my devotion or in my heart are to serve one another in love and love one another as He has loved us.
How God Teaches Humility
Sadly, I failed God and yet He was so graceful to remind me once again of this calling. So I summed up the courage to go out of the room and talk to my husband. But there’s still a little bit of pride in me so I did go out but only to refill my pitcher with water.
Then this was where I was first struck down with humility. The rice that my husband cooked was untouched. So I checked out the dish rack and searched for eating utensils.
I found none. This only meant one thing – he didn’t eat the entire day (oh my dear Lord, what have I done 😭😭😭). So this slowly destroyed the enemy’s weapon. I went to my husband who’s seated in the dining table pretending not to notice me.
Be Ready To Forgive Always
I hugged him tight and kissed him in the forehead. I did that for a couple of minutes without saying anything because I was too convicted. Then it was my husband who apologized first and I followed it with my apology.
What pierced my heart even harder was when I asked him why he didn’t eat. He answered that he didn’t eat because I didn’t come out to eat, too. Oh my, more heart-wrenching moments there. I hugged him even tighter and apologized many times.
Being Unselflish Is A Way To God’s Heart
You see, hubby isn’t used to intermittent fasting. I told him he shouldn’t do that because it will shock his body. I, on the one hand, is used to it since we do it in church every now and then. He said it’s okay because we also need to lose weight since we did nothing but eat during the quarantine.
My consience though just won’t let him sleep through the night with an empty stomach. So I rummaged in our food shelves. Then I asked him to eat something even just a little to lessen the acid in his stomach, and we ate a couple of cupcakes together. The guilt and humility just all went through me.
God Shows Grace When We Least Deserve It
And it didn’t stop there. My husband who’s not used to not eating the entire day and fasted with me, came up to me while I was washing in the kitchen, hugged me, and said, “I really missed you today.”
Gaaaah, Lord, I’m so sorry for what I’ve done. 😦 I get it now. I’ve been doing this love thing wrong all this time. So, I looked at my husband and joked that we needed some “me” time and “me” space, too, since we live in a condo and we literally just rub elbows with each other often. I went on that we also need to apply social distancing even at home. This one made him laugh. 😉
A Beautiful Reminder
God used my husband – who may be or may not be my beautiful flesh in the thorn – to bring me pain that will make me a better servant. And I believe God knew this will happen. The night before this incident happened, we just started watching a series on Apple TV. And I know it’s not a coincidence that it’s entitled “Servant.”
And then just like how God sees everything, He reminded us gently about reality. This reality that we might actually die tomorrow, next week, or next month because of the pandemic. It’s as if He was asking us both why we’re wasting precious time on grudges and selfishness.
Letting Go Of Unforgiveness And Hatred
I did tell myself that I’d like to die at peace with everyone including him. This means there should be no room for bitterness, hatred, and unforgiveness. It’s just not the time for all of these.
All the more when this pandemic requires we die alone without any loved one beside us. We can never hug and kiss our loved ones or even hold their hands before we take our final breaths.
I know we wouldn’t want our last moments in this world full of regrets and not being able to make amends with people whom we have hurt or those who have hurt us. We no longer have the opportunity to do so. So yes, this is no longer the time for hate, but a time for love.
No matter how much we’re offended or how bitter we are by a lot of things, we can no longer let hatred linger in our hearts. Not in a time like this.
It Is Just All About Love
And I guess this is what God is trying to tell us. To “love others just like how I loved you.” To forgive others like how He has forgiven us. And to ask for forgiveness from Him and from others.
This is how God shifts our mindsets from seeing only what lies in front of us to realizing the bigger picture that lies ahead. It is about appreciating relationships more than ever. It is about being grateful and being accountable for the people He’s blessed you with. It is about celebrating what love is in the truest essence of the word. And lastly, it is about the simple things that we normally take for granted, but are actually more precious than money, silver, and gold.
Right now, I appreciate having my husband around. It made the quarantine more bearable, and it made me fully understand how it is to love my husband as a wife according to the standards of God’s Words. There are a lot of things that my husband does now, which made me realize I should be proud God married me to him.
Basically, that is all that God is asking from us now. Just. Plain. Love.
“We love each other because he loved us first.” – 1 John 4:19
Staying in love until the worst,