I am not normal. I forget sometimes that I am not normal. My brother used to tell me this all the time when we were kids, but he was talking about something else. I usually go about my business under the guise that I am normal, that is, until something comes along to remind me otherwise. Today, something did.
One of my coworkers told me a story today. She told me about one of her good friends who took a short weekend trip with her husband, recently. While on the trip, her friend asked her husband a simple question. She asked him, “Am I a good wife?”
“Okay”, I thought. I was tracking right with her. My coworker looked at me, I guess expecting some kind of surprised look. She got none. I was waiting on her to finish her story.
So she went on. Her friend’s husband hesitated for a moment before he answered his wife. Then he said, “Sometimes you are a good wife, but there are some things you could do better.” Again my coworker waited a beat for my shock. I was waiting to hear the rest of the story.
Well, the rest of the story is her friend did not speak to her husband for the rest of the trip and for days after. My coworker thought this was justified. It was about that time that I was reminded that I am not normal.
You see, my husband and I have these talks sometimes. I can’t say that we come out with such a direct question as, “Am I a good wife?” or “Am I a good husband?”, but we talk about our relationship and sometimes have those difficult conversations about how we are doing in the relationship. Sometimes I can do better. Sometimes he can.
My theory is, “Never ask a question you don’t want the honest answer to.” (I know that’s bad grammar, but I don’t always think in proper grammar.) I have this theory because my husband always gives me an honest answer. I always know just how big my hindquarters look in any given pair of pants.
Anyway, I told my coworker my theory. Her friend should not have asked the question if she wasn’t really ready for his honest answer. She wasn’t. Obviously. Instead, she got her knickers in a twist and sulked for days. She punished him for being honest. Guess who won’t make that mistake ever again? And guess whose relationship won’t likely ever be based in reality? And guess who will never recover those cold shoulder days? They are gone forever.
There is no place in marriage for pedestals. I never like to hear women talk about how their husbands put them up on those. In all honesty, that’s what this woman was wanting. She was fishing for adoration, not truth.
Truthfully, how would you respond if you posed the question to your spouse, and he responded with some areas he’d like to see you improve? Would you be offended? It’s hard sometimes not to be.
But if you are truly interested in improving your relationship, you won’t run away from honest questions and honest answers. If you want a marriage that lasts a lifetime, you’ll seek them out and you’ll care to make those improvements if you can because you love them more than you care about being told how great you are. It’s not normal, but it works.
There’s really nothing normal about living the kind of life that Christ calls us to… not by the world’s standards anyway. And since when did we think we were supposed to live by the world’s definition of normal? We are not citizens of this world. We live by a different standard, and when something comes along to remind us of that, it can be…