It’s 9:35 on Monday night, and tomorrow morning, I’m supposed to publish my next post on Spiritual Klutz. It’s already finished – a witty, sarcastic piece about a peculiar experience my wife and I recently had with a group of Christians we met for the first time.
About ten minutes ago, I proudly said to my wife, “Let me read the first paragraph to you.”
She listened, paused, and said, “I don’t think you should post that.”
“You think I should delete the whole thing?” I asked, incredulous.
“You haven’t even read the rest,” I said.
“I know, but I just don’t feel right about it,” she said. “Those are real people, and something feels wrong about you talking about them like that.”
“But I wrote it in such a way that no one could know who they are.”
“Okay,” she said. “I’m just telling you what I think.”
Three years ago, this conversation would have been the beginning of long, drawn-out argument – you know, how dare she have an opinion about my artistic expression or whatever. And she might have gone on a tear about how I was so resistant to her non-stop feedback. But four years into marriage, I didn’t say anything back, and she just dropped it.
It’s 9:53 on Monday night, and although I don’t enjoy trashing an entire post, I’m definitely not publishing that article. The more I think about what my wife said, the more I know she’s right. Sure, I worked hard on it, but there are plenty of people who work hard writing things that are better left unsaid.
The truth is, deep down inside, I wasn’t feeling right about that post all along, and I believe the Holy Spirit was trying to rein me in. But I effectively ignored His still, small, voice – that is, until He used my wife’s loving, respectful response as a megaphone.
It’s 5:58 on Tuesday morning, and after sleeping on it, I’m actually quite thankful I let go of the old post. As a result, there won’t be any of the guilty baggage that comes with objectifying other people for the sake of entertainment; there won’t be that nagging sense that I made a joke of other believers at God’s expense.
And I’ll be free of that baggage because, by God’s grace, my wife and I are changing. I’m starting to listen to her feedback without getting all huffy and prideful; and that helps her feel like she doesn’t have to make her point so forcefully. And she’s becoming more restrained in the way she gives me feedback, which makes me a lot more open to hearing it (plus, she’s been right so many times that I would be a fool not to listen to her).
To be clear though, I don’t always listen to her (even when I know she’s right), and she doesn’t always have the best delivery (even when she knows a kinder tone would be more effective). We still regress as a couple; but as we’re growing and changing, God is bringing good things into our lives, and sometimes He’s taking other things out – like that snarky article I was going to publish this morning. Thank You, God – and a big thanks to you too, Cariño.