When Trucks Malfunction
A couple of weeks ago, my husband took his truck out to help someone move. This was supposed to be a simple task; a few boxes loaded in, a drive to the new place to unload and then home. No more than three hours.
I got a call not too long after he’d left. The truck had broken down. He had decided on a way of handling the situation. He expressed this solution in less-than-gentle terms, which I took personally. I fixated on my own solution, and flung that back at him. And let’s just say that those ways couldn’t have been more different. We had a moment of…intense fellowship. He was determined and I was equally determined.
When Things Get Worse
My husband finally managed to get the truck back home, with the aid of my dad, my brother, our pastor and a friend from church. The boxes were shuffled into my car, but by the time that happened, it was too late in the day to finish the job. Everyone was tired, and we knew that we were looking at a major repair issue.
So those three hours? They turned into two weeks. Fourteen days at the mechanic’s shop.
There goes the small savings account we’d had built up.
When Love is Necessary
The truth is, we didn’t have to fight. We didn’t have to spend a couple of days in awkward tension. Perhaps that’s why the Apostle Peter wrote:
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”- 1 Peter 4:8
Really, I didn’t need to “get my way.” I didn’t need to prove that I was “right.” What I needed to do was respond with gentleness and compassion. My husband was frustrated! Who isn’t when something goes wrong? I didn’t have to take that as an attack. I didn’t have to take this small mole-hill and help him turn it into a mountain. I could have used the love of Christ, love that is always available to us, to “cover over” his anger and smooth things out.
When Second Chances Arrive
The more I think about what happened, the sillier it becomes. So many of our problems in relationships, whether in marriage or with friends, colleagues or children, would be easily side-stepped if we took the time to breathe and think. If we made the decision to stop taking every little thing personally. If we asked God to open our ears so that we can hear what’s really going on behind the curt words or the long silences.
I’m determined to apply Peter’s reminder the next time an occasion to argue arises. Unless someone is in immediate danger physically, spiritually or emotionally, I’m going to think twice about jumping into the boxing ring. It’s often a waste of time!