Some amazing men I meet with weekly fell into a conversation around my kitchen table this morning. We were comparing notes on what we have learned about loving our wives through the years. There were tears, wonder, laughter, confessions, prayers and insights flowing between us rapid fire!
One of the things I shared was how, as a young husband who was trying hard to "please God", I felt like I was failing Him and Terri if she ever had a problem. This drive to "fix her" was rooted in my immaturity, idealism and insecurity, but that was all neatly covered up with a thin veneer of self-generated "wisdom" and "compassion". I was going to be a "great leader" to her and make sure she was perfect and happy. I didn't give her safe emotional space to express her pressures or griefs in the way she is wired by God. Terri is a verbal processor who also needs freedom to craft emotional poetry as she gets her burdens out on the table. But I was always there to "help" her express her problems more accurately and precisely! I thought I was following the Golden Rule to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", but I was obeying the rule on my terms rather than hers. Actually, I took it all too personally. So I would put on my "lawyer mask" and demand her to at least be accurate in describing her situation.
Fortunately Terri continued to love me patiently and the Lord gradually got through to me and helped me to mature out of my hidden insecurities. I discovered that being "right" is the booby prize of life and I learned to relax in God's love for me. The more it soaked in to my soul, the more I have been able to empathize with her when she hurts and when she rejoices ... which is her major mode these days!
A VOICE OF HOPE
Michael Sullivant's Blog
I am a child of God, husband, father, grandfather, spiritual father, author, speaker and hope coach.