My husband and I always wanted to be Seventh-day Adventist missionaries. We both served as student missionaries in different parts of the world, and we returned overseas as volunteers after marriage.
It was an amazing 10 years. We served in three countries and planted many seeds that God could water later.
But I grew increasingly bothered with my husband. At first, it was small things like always having to adjust his shirt collar. He would make a meal but couldn’t remember where to return the ingredients in the cupboard. We would agree on a schedule, but then he would cancel it at the last moment in favor of something that had caught his attention.
I expressed my frustration to my mother by phone. She called me hypercritical and urged me to be a better wife.
My mother changed her mind when we returned from the mission field and lived with her for a while. She saw that my husband would surprise us by washing the dishes, but then we couldn’t find where he had put them in the cupboards.
My mother apologized to me, saying, “I’m sorry, honey, because I thought it was just you. But you still need to forgive and respect him.”
My husband’s heart is always so good. He wants to be helpful. However, when we live with him day in and day out, his efforts are not always helpful but tiring because he creates extra work for the rest of us.
It got to the point that I lost all respect for him. I couldn’t trust his word. Not knowing where to turn, I sought the advice of a respected Seventh-day Adventist counselor. As I described my husband’s behavior, the counselor stopped me.
“Do you think that it’s possible that your husband has ADHD?” he said.
ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a disorder related to the executive functions of the brain and is characterized by difficulty paying attention, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity.
So, 18 years after getting married, I finally understood why my husband acts the way he does. I had to let go of my expectations and realize that God wanted to work on my heart.
I love my husband. We may never be overseas missionaries again, and that’s fine with me. Ellen White says, “Our work for Christ is to begin with the family, in the home. . . . There is no missionary field more important than this” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 429).