I was angry. I would walk in the night and call out to God. I thought I was going to snap. I don't know what that means, but I was overwhelmed. I thought, "If I hang onto this fight with Colleen, we have daggers for each other. If I let it go, I'm destined to be a putz."
Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership
God's Surprising Voice in the Marriage DoghouseBy Evan Nehring
Our Mosinee house had a shed in the back yard where we stacked some of our firewood. The woodshed and the doghouse have a similar connotation, don't they? Someone’s been naughty!
I don't think I ever felt so disconnected from Colleen as when we looked for new direction after the church plant. Before our last day at the church, I set my eyes on an MBA program. I would be going into business. It made sense to me. Before I went to Bible College, I had received a scholarship for a business program at the University of Western Ontario at London. Now I would pick up where I left off.
We had initial agreement and I found a good online program through the University of Wisconsin system where I could take a few masters level business courses to prepare for the actual MBA. I quickly worked through Organizational Management and then Marketing, before the money ran out. Now the commitment would involve large student loans and a long-term commitment to a business career.
Colleen couldn’t see it. We were both working full-time and my long study hours were taxing our relationship. I didn’t want to work in sales the rest of my life and was determined to press on. I was angry. I would walk in the night and call out to God. I thought I was going to snap. I don't know what that means, but I was overwhelmed. I thought, "If I hang onto this fight with Colleen, we have daggers for each other. If I let it go, I’m destined to be a putz."
I let it go. The verdict is still out on my destiny of being a putz.
Part of what helped me in that moment, though, was a deep belief that God was bigger than this disagreement. It’s never exactly been settled. I still think I would have aced the MBA and brought home a new level of income for our family. But God’s words came to me through Colleen. I have to trust that her resistance to my plan was part of God’s plan for us.
I’m over it. I’ve latched onto new challenges and I’m reasonably comfortable with how we’re able to provide for our family. The doghouse isn’t fun. In some ways it helped me define what I’ll fight for in our marriage and what I’ll let go. I’m certain the MBA fight would have ended some marriages. In the “for better, for worse” part of the marriage vows, the doghouse is the “for worse.”
I'm pretty sure I'd have never started a blog without the doghouse...or written a book.