The high cost of speak­ing your mind

The Progress-Index Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - — 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. He can be reached by email at jamess­ny­der2@att.net. The church web site is www. whatafel­low­ship.com.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?” 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

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