The other night Tom asked me if he had ever disappointed me.
It was one of those questions that you can’t answer quickly. I thought for a moment and realized that in all honesty the only disappointments had come when there was sin he needed to confess. And it wasn’t disappointment in him as much as it was disappointment in the lure sin still has on all of us if we’re not watching.
When Tom asks these kinds of questions, which he has often in our marriage, it does my heart good. Why? Because I know he is sincerely wanting to take care of me and how I’m processing things. I know whatever my answer he will be listening intently to hear what I have to say. And I know that we will have a meaningful conversation about the things I share.
This can be compared to watching out for the “little foxes which spoil the vine,” that he wrote about in yesterday’s post. It isn’t hard to find them once they’ve done damage, but preventing them from taking the first nip requires a commitment to ask these kinds of questions on a regular basis.
If you would like to have conversations like these, but aren’t sure how to go about it, check out our Date Night Questions at the top where we offer great questions to help you seek out those little foxes before they enter your vineyard. You may want to start with the question Tom asked me.
But there is a word of caution…
be prepared to hear what your spouse has to say and don’t react if you don’t like what you hear. Talking about issues this deep takes a mature willingness to hear, learn and grow. An immature response hears, resents and blows up in anger. Only by God’s grace at work in your heart will this conversation be beneficial. Left to ourselves we would never seek to know our own hearts on this level.
When was the last time you had a conversation like this? Was it a means of growth in your marriage or a cause for more conflict?
Great reminder. Taking it a little further and given the fact that I am never going to be perfect in my actions, responses, anticipation, etc, I can be pretty confident that I have disappointed her in some way. But secondly, the fact that I have disappointed her may not be due to my failure as much as that she has, as we all do, some unspoken expectations that need to come to light. Perhaps “How have I disappointed you this week?” is a good way to surface both kinds of disappointment.
You are so right, Keith. We can often have expectations we don’t realize until the choices being made take us away from the place we hoped we’d be. An excellent point. Love the revised question adding “this week.”