Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Let Your Words Be Few

We arranged for a baby sitter, but hadn’t decided what to do on our date night.
My husband suggested a bike ride.

I wanted to suggest some the other options. “You’re right, we could go on a bike ride. But, we could also—”

I wanted to analyze the pluses and minuses of the bike ride. The sun still sets pretty early. Can we really make it from Hawk Island Park to the state capitol—and back again—before the park closes?

Then I remembered the space between stimulus and response—that brief moment between my husband’s suggestion and the reply I would make. Perched right in the middle of that moment, I should take time to consider how my husband would receive my words. Could I say a Christ-like response instead?

The previous day, I tried to dream up with some ideas for our date. Drawing a blank, I reluctantly defaulted to “Well, there’s always a movie.” But, after scanning the movie reviews, I didn’t see a movie we’d both like.

In contrast, my husband had just made a marvelous suggestion on one of the first warm evenings of the year. I couldn’t think of anything I would rather do.

So, instead of firing a series of questions and comments at my husband that would come across as disrespectful of his insight, I decided to simply affirm him by enthusiastically saying yes!

Sometimes, we should keep commentary to ourselves. There’s a time for discussion, but often simple affirmation blesses our husbands.

It’s all about love and respect, as we listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit during that brief space between stimulus and response.



  1. "Sometimes we should keep commentary to ourselves."
    Not an easy thing to do. But I cannot tell you how many times I have said a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the times HE has helped me keep my mouth closed. OK, when HE has held it closed!
    And I like his suggestion. It's a beautiful day today and a bike ride sounds great!