God continues to fine-tune me in the areas of humility and faith, as I see more instances in my life where those come into play. I’m going to share a failure on my part, and what I learned from it.
A situation was brought to my attention about a conflict between two people, and Tom and I were asked for help. Tom was out of town, so I listened to one of them and said I would relay it to Tom. I told Tom about the situation and asked if he could talk to the other one.
A day or two later, Tom showed me a text message conversation between himself and the other person. To shorten a long story, that person had a different version of the situation than the one I’d heard.
What I should have done (and what I suspect Tom was expecting) is simply praise and thank him for following up on it and then ask what he felt we should do next. Unfortunately, I did not thank him, and I talked about what I felt we should do next. As a result, he reacted a little defensively and I found myself feeling frustrated because the issue wasn’t resolved. I felt that all we had accomplished was hearing two sides of the story. Thankfully, I ended by saying we could pray and see what unfolded.
The next morning, I told Tom God had revealed some more areas I need to work on and I thanked him for following up on the situation. I then decided to pray and stay out of it and let Tom handle it as he saw fit.
So, what caused me to react the way I did? First of all, my pride apparently thought I knew better than Tom how to go about resolving the conflict. Since the conflict was between two men, I realized that Tom would most likely have the best ideas about how to handle it. A lack of faith was also in operation, which caused me to feel anxious about an unresolved problem, and when I’m anxious, I get tense. Even when my voice is low in volume, there’s a tension in the air that isn’t comfortable.
My role as a godly wife is to encourage, up-lift, and follow my husband. Yes, I can present my views, but that needs to be done in a humble, respectful, appreciative way. That is the “…gentle and quiet spirit…” (1 Peter 3:4, NIV) that is precious to the Lord and appreciated by my husband! (I believe gentle and quiet means humbly sweet and calm, not anxious or pushy).
So, I will continue to practice praying before I speak or react! I want to have a gentle, quiet spirit. When I do, Tom’s more interested in hearing what I have to say.