Thursday, April 24, 2008
A newlywed couple had the worst time communicating. It seemed like every time they had a disagreement, it turned into a major fight--except their fights always wound up being the pouty kind where each gave the other the silent treatment.
Sometimes these "spats" could last for days. During one such spell, the husband had an early morning appointment and didn't want to oversleep, so he left a note for his wife that said, "Wake me up at 5 a.m. I have a meeting at 6." He put the note on her pillow so she'd be sure to see it. Indeed, when she came to bed, she picked up the note, read it, and quietly nodded.
Good, the husband thought. She'll wake me in the morning and this silent treatment business will finally come to an end.
The next morning, the husband awakened at 9 a.m. He had missed his appointment! Lying on the pillow beside him was a note, and scribbled on it were the words, "It's 5 a.m. Wake up."
A far-fetched story? Perhaps. But in some ways very realistic. Ever give someone you love the silent treatment? Maybe someone's hurt or disappointed you and your stubborn refusal to talk is your way of "getting even". When my husband and I married over 32 years ago, we had a few "silent" battles of our own. Neither one of us has ever been the "yelling" type, so we showed our anger in quiet ways -- punishing the other with silence. Thank God we've "outgrown" that silly behavior, learning the importance of communicating our hurts, disappointments, and, yes, sometimes our anger.
I think of all the times in my life I've given God the silent treatment. Battles I tried to win in my own strength, problems I tried to solve by myself, paths I tried to carve out without His clear guidance or direction.
How many times I've tripped and fallen flat on my face simply because I didn't seek Him first!
"Lord, remind me when I fail to acknowledge You. Nudge me, poke me, wake me up if needs be--but please don't let me get away with giving you the silent treatment."
"Show me your ways, Oh, Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth, for You are God, my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:4,5