“How long would you like to nap?” he asked. Making sure she got rest had become a weekend priority for him.
“I’m not sure. I would love to just sleep until I wake up. But I know there’s lots of things to do so maybe 40 minutes would be better,” she answered, already walking to the bedroom.
“Well, if you sleep until you wake up, I’ll have to juggle the kids.”
And think of what your response would be. Would something come flying out of your mouth before you even thought about it? Would you think one thing in your head, temper it, then say something in a more edited format? Would you say nothing? Would your words be angry or graceful? Would you word stop conflict in its tracks or open up a can of worms?
We women have this stereotype about us that a lot of times, no matter what our husbands say, they are in a no-win situation. “Honey, do I look fat in this dress?” He answers “yes”, he’s dead. He pauses to think, dead. He says “no” and you think you do, he’s a liar, and later, dead. See, no-win.
It can be easy to
torment tease our husbands this way. They should just KNOW what to say. What to do. How to do it. What we’re thinking. What the right answer is. Our exact mood. Shouldn’t they?
But they don’t. Not even close. Not even a little bit. Not even at all.
So instead of placing them in a no-win situation, we need to change our tactics.
What if instead of making every answer a puzzle or a test, when we ask them questions, listen to them talk, or go to answer their questions, we give them the benefit of the doubt.
Approach the question, the answer, and the situation with this thought : My husband loves me. He has my best interests at heart. I may not like the words he chose or the tone he used but those aren’t truth. Truth is that he loves me and he wants what’s best for me.
We can choose to extend grace in the situation. Let’s face it : you don’t know everything that’s going on in your husband’s mind, every part of what he’s been through today or what he’s just come from doing, or all about how he feels. Every part of all of these pieces will play into how he talks to you. And right or wrong, this isn’t about his sin, his error. It’s about grace. And making a choice to extend grace. Just like Bonnie did in Dare 25.
So let’s take a look back at the conversation from the beginning of the post. What would you answer now?
Could you pause, take a deep breath, remember what truth is (in this case that he loves you, and the kids, and on several occasions has ‘juggled’ them quite successfully all in the name of you getting rest), and take away the no-win element?
Could you try to see that he just may have approached it differently than you, but that he wants what’s best for you?
I hope you could. I hope you could try this. I hope you could look at situations and conversations differently and think to yourself, even if it’s moment to moment “I don’t want to be a no-win wife. I want to act as if my husband has my best interests at heart. Even when, no especially when he approaches a situation differently than I would. I want to communicate to him THIS way.”
I dare you to try this today. I dare you to extend grace when you normally wouldn’t. I dare you to extend grace in little things and big things.
1 Peter 3:8-9 (MSG) Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.
When you have done this, come back and share with us how it changed the interaction, the conversation, and the reaction of your husband. I’d love to hear how this worked for you!