In the early years of my marriage, my husband and I would often attend marriage enrichment seminars. Sometimes we gleaned life-changing information, and sometimes we merely received nuggets that we stored away for future use. At one such event, there was a story shared that has stuck with me, and I tend to draw from it regularly.
Two Christian marriage and family therapists hosted this particular seminar. Without divulging sensitive and private information, one shared a story of a wife considering divorce. The wife felt ignored and oppressed. She was angry and finished. The therapist, with an ulterior motive, encouraged her to spend time wholly serving her husband for a period before she left him. The point was, upon the wife’s departure, the husband would greatly regret the poor treatment of his wife. She agreed to the pretense.
Several months passed and the therapist and the wife came across one another at a public event. The therapist asked if she had been successful at leaving her husband. She was appalled that he would think such a thing because her husband was a wonderful man and they had a sensational marriage.
I don’t recall if this is a true story or if the therapist later relayed that the story was fabricated. What I do know is that I grasped the message; “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 10:12). I like what R. J Palacio said in Wonder, “If we have to choose between being right and being kind, choose kind.” I am a fiery and feisty woman, and sometimes I have to concentrate on setting aside my weapon of choice, a shovel, to dig for ways to serve and be kind instead of digging a grave. I’m just being real.