The North Wind and The Sun
July 19, 2019 | by: Laurie D'Amico | 0 Comments
Posted in: Marriage and Relationships
Something I’ve been reminded of recently is the 5 standards for successful communication. They are: caring, praise, truth, faith and surrendering our mouths to serve and glorify God. I’m pretty sure we’re all aware how essential successful communication is in marriage. Jimmy Evans, so accurately states “Your marriage will never rise above the level of your mouth.”
I regularly fall short of one of the 5 standards for successful communication listed above. Faith. In particular, believing that once I’ve spoken the truth in love to Dave, I pray and trust God for the results. 1 Peter 3 states that wives can change their husbands without a word. 1 Peter 3:4 says “Rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” A gentle and quiet woman is not weak. She believes that when she speaks and prays, God is on her side. The truth is, God fights for us and fights for our marriages 24/7. Unfortunately, I don’t always believe that.
Dave is investing in our marriage in a faithful, consistent and intentional way. You would think with his commitment, I would consistently feel safe in our relationship. However, fear and insecurity have a way of rearing their ugly heads in my heart and mind. And that’s exactly the moment I lose faith that God is on my side, fighting for me and our marriage. It’s when I move from a gentle spirit to force. My communication becomes unsuccessful and I get in the way of the good God wants to accomplish in my life, Dave’s life and our marriage.
Dave and I were working on a recent homework assignment for our Marriage life group. One questions was “what words do you not like to hear from your spouse?”. Last night, Dave said the words I told him I didn’t like to hear. I reacted quite harshly and he looked blindsided. He requested we not discuss it right then. But I continued on with why he needed to hear what I had to say. He gracefully listened.
Afterwards. I felt yucky and didn’t sleep well. When I woke up this morning, I realized why I was feeling so badly. The night before, I was certain I was right. That should have been my first clue. I have a pattern of crashing and burning when “I’m certain I’m right.” I guess it’s that pride cometh before a fall thing. I didn’t feel good, because I knew I won the battle but lost the war. I realized I didn’t have faith that God would work things out. That he would change Dave. Or perhaps even, it was I who needed the changing. Maybe I needed more growth so those words wouldn’t be an issue to me any more. My hunch was that I needed more change than Dave on this one. At the time, it never crossed my mind that I could be wrong.
There's a fable called "The moral of The North Wind and the Sun.: The two were quarreling about which one was more powerful. A traveler wearing a cloak was passing them by. They decided whichever one could strip the man of his cloak was more powerful. The wind went first by sending a cold howling wind and the traveler held his cloak all the closer around him. Then the sun shone on the man warming him after the cold, harsh wind. The man took off his cloak and hung it over his shoulder. The moral of the fable is “Gentleness and kind persuasion win, where force and bluster fail.” Gentleness is so attractive, because we were created by God to have free will. God never forces us. If God never forces me, who am I to think it’s ok to force Dave or anyone else for that matter?
Next time I’m lacking faith in what I’ve communicated to Dave, and I want to become the enforcer, I will try and remember that God is the sun and my forcing the matter is the wind. I will also try and remember that there is a chance I may not even be right. Shocker, isn’t it? Perhaps it is I who needs the sun to help me remove my cloak.
I want to leave you with this last thought. God created the world with his words. We also create our world with our words.