June 10, 2019 4 min read

Why Can’t You Remember?!

One of the classic arguments between husbands and wives revolves around reminding.One may need to be reminded to take out the trash, make the grocery store run, shuttle the kids to practice or the dog to the vet. Perhaps a prompting is required when one forgets to fill the car up with gas, clean out the hair from the drain…again, take their mud covered shoes off at the door, or change the lightbulb in the bedroom closet that’s been burned out for the past five weeks. It can be quite a challenge in almost every marriage. And let’s face it, the one who most likely needs to be reminded is often the husband. Not always, but in the majority of marriages…it just is what it is.

It can get oh-so-frustrating for both the person doing the reminding and the one being reminded. In fact, one can get irritated and downright angry over needing to remind and remind and remind their spouse of things that need to be done or remembered, and one can also become mad and defensive over the constant nagging to remember to do things. Around and around we go like crazed animals on a whirling merry-go-round. Round and round they go! Where they stop, nobody knows!

One of the biggest mistakes a woman can make is to think that once she’s said it, once an issue has been visited with the man, that said issue has been settled. No, no, no. In reality, it’s more like singing a version of the old song “He’ll be comin’ round the mountain when he comes!” Many times, concerns need to be addressed again, and again, and again…. Well, you get the idea. A wife shouldn’t be surprised when “he’s comin’ round the mountain” with the same old same old. She should expectedlysay: Look! Here he comes again! It’s just life, but we think it shouldn’t be this way.

When we have to remind our spouse or kids about things, it’s frustrating and we are convinced that it’s a sign that something is wrong, that someone doesn’t have a functioning brain…or worse! We think they don’t care or have a cold heart and we pile on and make something that is very normal into something evil.

But what if needing to remind or needing to be reminded is not a sign that something is wrong, but rather a family trait?What do I mean by that? Let me explain.

We are all made in the likeness and image of Almighty God and apparently, God needs to be reminded. To remind is to bring something back to the forefront of someone’s mind. The something is in there, it just needs to be brought back to their attention so they can remember. We often see this as a weakness, but what if it’s not? What if it’s a characteristic from our Father? We know that God has no weaknesses and yet, God Himself needs to remember. So, what if it is just our likeness of Him that is showing?

Starting with the rainbow in the sky following the Flood of Noah, the Bible is filled with instances of how God would remember His promises, His covenant, His people. We often read the account after the flood and think that the rainbow was put in the sky to remind usthat God would never again destroy the earth with a flood… but go back and read it again. God says in Genesis 9 that when Hesees the rainbow, He will remember.

12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

Often times when people pray in the Bible, it is in the context of reminding God, asking Him to remember them and His promises.

Judges 16:28  Samson prayed:“Sovereign Lord, remember me.” 

2 Kings 20:3 Hezekiah prayed:“Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.”

Psalm 25:6  The Psalmist prayed: Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.”

And there are many more. It’s not a weakness. It’s not like God ever says: Oh yeah, I forgot you existed.When people pray this way they are asking God, “Please put me in the forefront of Your mind; turn Your attention to me.”

Hey, if we need to remind God and ask Him to remember us and remember His promises, can’t we do the same with the person we are married to?

The New Testament is laden with the admonition to remember. In the Epistles the Apostle Paul and the other writers were constantly encouraging the believers to remember, to recall, and to not forget. Apparently being forgetful isn’t just something your spouse does to drive you crazy.

In John 14:26 even Jesus told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would come to remindthem of everything he had said to them. On the night of the Last Supper, what were Jesus’ words? “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, wheneveryou drink it, in remembrance of me.”He knew we are a forgetful people and that we need to be continually reminded of the sacrifice He made for us. If we can lose sight of or let something as extremely important as this slip from our memory, I’m guessing we can easily drop the ball on bringing home a gallon of milk!

Why can’t you remember?!Because it is in our nature to be needful of reminding. We are human and are prone to forgetting. We get distracted and what we need to remember can get pushed to the back of our minds. We needto remind others and we need to be reminded. If we can think of it in those terms, the anger and bitterness at needing to remind the other person starts to subside and the lashing out and defensiveness over being reminded can diminish.