That happened, to me, today.
My friend Sarah shared an inspiring podcast ('The Respectful Wife' by Mark Driscoll) with me and a few other of her married compadres today- bonus! It's a free sermon. (Search Mars Hill Church in your iTunes to find some more... think I'll be doing that soon.) I'd upload it here but it's nearly an hour long - I highly encourage you women to go and check it out!
Whoa. It's always been a struggle for me to be a deliberate person - deliberate in word and deed as a girl-now-woman, a daughter, sister, wife, teacher, mother... I'm a boisterous, opinionated, passionate, highly independent but sometimes self-righteous person, and it's hard to be deliberate when your mouth moves faster than your brain. I was convicted to be a more deliberate wife in thought, word and action because of Mr. Driscoll's biblical and God-hearted message.
It got me thinking - where else can I be more deliberate? A message I kept hearing over and over in the podcast was "Are you a nag? Do you drill, drill, drill a message in?" *Squirming like the proverbial schoolboy* Maybe Mr. Driscoll was prodding a sore spot... In a particular class period students are always saying 'You're so negative!!' Let me say, it never ceases to take me by surprise. I have NEVER been called a negative person, in any arena. But as Art Instructor Mrs. Andrews in First Period I am 'negative' because I 'always tell them what they're drawing wrong'... but I know I'm not. What I know is that they won't get better until they fix their mistakes. What I know is that I'm following the 'sandwich method' - for those of you who didn't study education, that is when you begin a critique with a 'warm fuzzy', add your criticism, and finish with another 'fuzzy'. It's all very technical.
But no matter how many sandwiches I present my kids, regardless of how firmly my methods are built upon best practices, the reality is that they feel criticized. The reality is that I need to be deliberately positive and encouraging. And I started thinking - obviously a 2:1 ratio of encouragement to criticism is faulty. People (husbands, children, students, friends) need to hear good things about themselves - to the point where one feels repetitive. I may know that I'm supporting Koby, but the reality may be that he's focused on a criticism that I utttered in a moment of frustration. Being deliberate, showing discretion: it takes effort. Being a good wife, teacher, mother should be hard. I think it's something for which we must continually strive.
So, as I listened to my free podcast while Knox napped after school, I was motivated and inspired to to apologize to Koby for some hurtful things I'd said when I should have been encouraging and understanding. Here's the scenario that happened:
Enter Husband.And life just sometimes fits. Thanks God.
Husband: Hey, whatcha doin?
Me: Oh, listening to a sermon on how to be a better wife.
Husband: Huh, that's what my devotional was about today.
Husband: On being a good husband.
In other news, we taught Knox to growl.