Monday, September 13, 2010

Piper on Solving Marital Conflict

Ladies (and gentleman) this is nothing to sniff at...I love it where Piper says,

I would say a wife's role is to see all that God enables her to see and then ask the Lord for wise and humble and submissive ways to share, to bring into her husband's life her perspective on things. And it's his job as a leader to be humbly receptive to those kinds of things and then to take action.

She doesn't want to take over at that point. She wants to say, "Here's the way I see it. I think we need to do this or this or this." And then his job as the leader—and this is the hardest job as the leader—is to humble himself to act on that instead of saying, "OK, if you don't like the way I do it, go ahead."

Yesterday in the airport we saw a husband bring his wife a Coke, and there was no ice in it. And she said, "Where's the ice?" And I could tell on his face that he wasn't happy about that question. "I just got you a Coke, and you say, 'Where's the ice?'" And then he handed her the juice, and she said, "You got this kind of juice for our kid?"

So he blew it: he got Coke without ice and the wrong kind of juice. And he comes down to the end of the line and just sits down, three seats down from where they are. Now at that moment, what does leadership do? Leadership has picked up that this wife wants ice in her Coke, and this wife wants a different kind of juice for their three-year-old who's walking around here. And he just blew it on both and he's sulking at the end of the line, just like I do. That's not leadership.

The hardest thing in the world at that moment is to receive from your wife news that you don't want to receive, and then to rise above the self-pity, the anger, and the frustration of that moment that "I just served her, and she didn't say 'Thank you' but 'Where's the ice?'" You're going to forgive, you're going to rise, and you're going to lead and say, "I'll go get it."

So yes, we husbands need to hear things we're blind to—like reminders that she likes ice, and that the kid needs orange juice not grapefruit juice—and we need to then lay it down and stop sulking and being self-pitying and go lead.

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