What If I’m Wrong?
My husband and I got into an argument the other day. It was over schedules and expectations and assumptions. We have entered a new phase in our parenting, one where we are juggling many opposing schedules. While my husband’s schedule has stayed generally the same, I am finding myself in a stressful place, trying to get everyone to where they need to be and desiring not to let anybody down.
And there’s the crux of the problem. I don’t want to let anyone down. I’m discovering that my greatest fear is disappointing others and when I sense that I am letting someone down then I spiral and feel like I am a failure and a disappointment to everyone.
The fear was overwhelming me and so I fought back against my husband and I made assumptions about his schedule that were completely unfair. I seethed and he soothed. I had disrespected him, but he patiently explained why he might not be able to be available at the time I needed him.
As he spoke, my heart began to soften and I realized that I was wrong. My assumptions were incorrect and I had disrespected him by believing that his reasons were selfish and unloving. How blind I was!
Later as I reflected on our argument, I was in tears as I basked in the grace my husband had shown to me. I didn’t deserve it. I had been manipulative and unkind, yet he continued to reach out in love towards me. I cried because I had been given a beautiful picture of God’s steadfast love for me in the way my husband gently dealt with me. I cried because of the way love covers a multitude of sins. I cried because my greatest fear had been realized- I WAS letting others down- yet I had come out the other side, safe, secure and loved. I cried because I was amazed at the abundant grace that had been lavished on me.
In the middle of our argument, I stood at my kitchen sink, angry and frustrated while my family poured milk into cereal, set the table, and poured the coffee behind me. And I prayed. It didn’t take long for me to ask the question, what if I’m wrong? My husband hadn’t explained himself at that point, but I knew that I needed to allow my heart to be softened. I love my husband. I wanted our relationship to be restored.
What I have discovered is this- when we love others, we will be quick to admit and acknowledge our own fault. Not a single one of us is without fault. We are not God. We do not know the motives of others. We cannot judge perfectly. Ever. But when we are able to admit that we might be wrong, it allows us to listen to the other person. Listening provides the opportunity to understand where the other person is coming from. Understanding leads to trust. When you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the other person loves you and you love them in return, then reconciliation is possible.
But all of these things are necessary. Admitting our own wrong. Listening to the other person. Seeking to understand. Trust based on a mutual love for one another. Reconciliation.
Are you quick to admit when you are wrong or do you stubbornly hold onto your opinion? When you discover that you are wrong about something, do you apologize and seek to make amends? Do you blame others when they don’t live up to your expectations or do you seek to understand their perspective?
Be quick to admit when you are wrong. Listen well to others. Seek to understand. Genuinely love. And then allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the beauty of reconciliation!
Be quick to ask yourself, what if I’m wrong? And frequently pray Psalm 139:23, 24…
“Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”