The high cost of speak­ing your mind

Record Observer - - Religion -

One thing I have learned through­out my life is some­times speak­ing your mind only gets a piece of some­body else’s mind – and not the good piece.

The old say­ing goes that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. How­ever, I’m sur­prised the old dog doesn’t know the old tricks. What good is a new trick if you have not re­ally mas­tered and learned from the old tricks?

My ex­pe­ri­ence in this area stood me in good stead for many years. An in­ci­dent hap­pened re­cently bring­ing to light how valu­able this “old trick” re­ally is. I may not be good in the new tricks, but I think I have mas­tered a few of the old tricks.

I re­ally do not know when this in­ci­dent started, but some­where along the line I said some­thing re­sem­bling a gut­tural “uh huh,” and for­got about it. What you say in these odd mo­ments may de­ter­mine your qual­ity of life for many years to come. This points out the dif­fer­ence be­tween husbands and wives.

The only way a hus­band can re­mem­ber what he had for lunch is to look at his shirt. A wife’s mem­ory, on the other hand, is so keen she can re­mem­ber things that never hap­pened.

In the midst of a mild do­mes­tic dis­cus­sion, any wife worth her salt can bring her hus­band to his knees by sim­ply stat­ing, “But, Honey, you promised me.”

At that point, no hus­band has the equip­ment to counter that ar­gu­ment. He may well have promised, but there is no way to prove one way or the other.

About a month ago, the Gra­cious Mistress of the Par­son­age got it into her mind to re­model the kitchen. Dur­ing this time, I did a pretty good job of stay­ing out of her way. When the rare op­por­tu­nity came so­lic­it­ing my per­sonal ad­vice on a mat­ter associated with this re­mod­el­ing project, I quickly and en­thu­si­as­ti­cally sup­ported her de­ci­sions.

The man who care­fully mea­sures his words will add happy years to his life. I sure don’t know how long I’m go­ing to live, but I want that time to be happy.

Fol­low­ing the kitchen re­mod­el­ing my wife pro­ceeded to re­model her bath­room. At this point I should have had some sus­pi­cions, but I didn’t. As a hus­band, I am not equipped with a “sus­pi­cion de­tec­tor.” Ex­pe­ri­ence should have taught me that if one project is done suc­cess­fully it only in­spires another project.

When a wife gets it in her mind to re­model part of the house that thought gets stuck and there is no stop­ping her. Af­ter each re­mod­el­ing project is com­pleted, my wife al­ways asks my opin­ion of the job she has just done.

I have learned that if I do not want to do the job my­self, I en­thu­si­as­ti­cally praise the job my wife has done. Any cri­tique that leads to­ward the neg­a­tive has a re­cip­ro­cal ef­fect.

Of course, there is a thing as too much en­thu­si­asm, and I found that to be so in this re­cent re­mod­el­ing frenzy at our house. I must ad­mit I did de­tect a cer­tain busy­ness around the house, but I have learned it is bet­ter not to in­quire.

Then I come home from the of­fice one day. Not that it is un­usual for me to come home, but this time when I came home, I was greeted at the door by my wife, with a smile that in­di­cated to me that ei­ther some­thing was wrong or I was in trou­ble.

“I have some­thing I want to show you,” she gig­gled as she took my arm and led me back through the hall­way. “I’ve been work­ing on this all day and I’m anx­ious to show you what I did.”

She then pro­ceeded to es­cort me to one of the most sa­cred ar­eas of our blessed domi­cile. My bath­room. Noth­ing is more per­sonal and sa­cred as a man’s bath­room.

I have few re­quire­ments of that room. The wa­ter must run and the hot wa­ter must be hot. The toi­let must flush and the shower must work. Out­side of that, noth­ing else re­ally mat­ters.

The fact that the wall­pa­per is peel­ing is in­con­se­quen­tial. The fact that the floor is cracked doesn’t re­ally mat­ter. The fact that the shower cur­tain is old and tat­tered just makes it more homey for me. I like my bath­room.

Just as she was about to open the door a hor­ren­dous thought ex­ploded in my cra­nium. She has re­mod­eled my bath­room. This comes as close to cross­ing the line as any­thing done in­side the house. A sense of panic pa­raded around my heart.

Open­ing the door, she said those words that will frighten any man in his right mind. “What do you think of your new bath­room?”

Through the years, I have dis­cov­ered many ques­tions a hus­band should never an­swer.

“Does this dress make me look fat?”

“How do you like the meat­loaf? It’s a new recipe.”

No mat­ter how long it takes you to chew that meat­loaf, al­ways do it with a smile and never, never com­pare it with your mother’s.

I can ei­ther ex­press what’s on my mind, or, live hap­pily ever af­ter. I just can’t do both.

A verse from the Bi­ble brought a sense of com­fort to my heart. “A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the trans­gres­sors shall eat vi­o­lence” (Proverbs 13:2). I’m on a fruit diet. Dr. James L. Sny­der is pas­tor of the Fam­ily of God Fel­low­ship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Sil­ver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or email jamess­ny­der2@att.net. The church web­site is www. whatafel­low­ship.com.

GRA­SONVILLE — Wye Bi­ble Church, 115 Nar­nia Drive, in­vites ev­ery­one to at­tend a Good Fri­day ser­vice from 7 to 8 p.m. on Fri­day, April 14, and Easter ser­vice at 10:30 a.m. Sun­day, April 16. The nurs­ery (serv­ing ages birth to 3) will be open for both ser­vices.

For more in­for­ma­tion call 410-827-6650 or email wbc. of­fice@wye­biblechurch.com.

BUR­RISVILLE — Mt. Zion united Methodist Church, Bur­risville, will hold an Easter Sun­rise Ser­vice at 6 a.m. Sun­day, April 16, fea­tur­ing the world-fa­mous Burke Fam­ily Singers.

A sun­rise break­fast will fol­low at 7 a.m. Pan­cakes, sausage, scrap­ple, eggs, home fries, bis­cuits, juices, cof­fee and more avail­able for a $5 do­na­tion. Reg­u­lar morn­ing ser­vice be­gins at 10 a.m. with Pas­tor Lisa M. Graine. All are wel­come.

GRA­SONVILLE — East­ern Shore Bap­tist Church, 119 Sta­tion Lane, in­vites the pub­lic to cel­e­brate Easter with them Sun­day, April 16. Classes are of­fered for all ages at 10 a.m. Ser­vices will be held at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

For in­for­ma­tion, call 410-490-4950 or visit www. east­ern­shore­bap­tistchurch.

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