First up, my wife is a saint.
Second little detail… I’m a doofus.
Let me set the scene… family dinner of dad’s spaghetti surprise, everyone’s had a long day, sharing a meager late dinner. Bleary and fatigued, I heedlessly jump into a delicate and complicated relational issue with one of our kids.
Ever do that ?
Of course you have… we all have, “bad timing” would be the ‘only positive spin we could make on such a poor approach.
In my genuine concern, I jumped the gun and dove into a deep problem armed only with my logic and need to resolve the issue before bedtime. Completely missing my wife’s gentle warnings to ease up, I pressed in…. made my point and wounded everyone.
The painful truth hovering an inch over the table and squeezing the life out of what I had hoped to be a ‘healing’ conversation, I slowly realized how soundly I had screwed this up. My wife raising her voice deliberately in check (holding back her right to kick my shin in half under the table) as her eyes burned twin holes through my chest.
So it turns out… I needed to be reminded, you can say the right things the wrong way and be completely in the wrong.
After an extra thirty minutes of damage control from my wife, the issue was soothed and smoothed over.
An hour afterwards, I came back to my wife and my kid to apologize. Not just the “I’m sorry’ I said things the wrong way apology…but the I was wrong for speaking to you that way, I am truly sorry for being insensitive and harsh when you needed me to be gentle, patient and kind apology.
Grace was extended, grace was received and in the mess, somewhere and somehow… God’s Kingdom came to my home.
Parents, we’re not going to get it “right’ , but we can ‘make it right’.
Let’s focus on living our faith in ‘front’ of our families and be careful to allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide our every conversation… and guys, please say an extra prayer of thanks for our gracious spouses who offset us knuckleheads!
Fatherhood Resource for dad’s to check out – by John and Sam Eldridge,
Killing Lions – from Thomas Nelson publishers.