I had a science teacher in middle school who was a lot older than most of my teachers. She was old-fashioned and as a result, was the brunt of many immature jokes by my classmates. One of her favorite ways to correct our unruly behavior was to say, “Find your niche!” Imagine 13-year-olds passing on such an opportunity to imitate her in a disrespectful way. To make it worse she would point her finger to identify to whom she was speaking. Yeah, we were bad! And I still cringe to think of the torment we put her through. God forgive me!
But I have never forgotten her words. Maybe she knew us better than we realized.
There was another thing she said repeatedly that I understood then, but have come to greatly appreciate now. It is the main point of this post:
Put your brain in gear before putting your mouth in motion.
Such wisdom. I’ve heard it interpreted that we should walk into a room with our ears open and our mouth closed. In other words, listen to what’s going on in the room when you enter. Many times we have our own agenda and walk into a room thinking our spouse is sitting on the ready to hear our thoughts. If your home is like ours I’m sure this isn’t the case. We all have our own things to do each day. Be considerate of your spouse’s schedule. When you walk into the house from outside or into another room, listen first. Determine what’s going on in the room, and be courteous. Wait until the right time to say what you need to say. Then, be sure you’re thinking clearly before you say it. How many arguments and tensions in marriage could be avoided if we would simply practice this one bit of wisdom.
Thank you Mrs. Smith, for rising above the ridicule and planting a seed of wisdom in my immature heart. I pray what it’s produced in me was worth your aggravation, and that one day your reward will be great. Today I’m taking your seeds and planting them in the heart of every person/couple who will read this post. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll “find our niche”–the place where strong marriages grow, and yours and mine will be all the better as a result.