My marriage is incredible. I thank God for it everyday. I've said many times it would be perfect if I wasn't in it. Fortunately, I am, so she'll have to work with what she's got.
While preaching tonight, I said the following to my 10 year old son, Josiah:
"Josiah, when was the last time you heard momma and daddy yell and scream at each other?"
An awkward silence fell upon me-which I loved-and my face took on the coloration of an albino. It was not the answer I was looking for-at all, but it was perfect. You had better be ready for the nitty gritty when you ask your children questions. They see things a little differently than we do and will tell it. Although embarrassing, it was helpful. I kissed his forehead and thanked him for being honest. He's an awesome man of God.
A couple of day ago, I spoke to my wife with aggravation in my voice. We were not yelling ... my wife will confirm it. LOL. And I wasn't really aggravated at her, I just projected those feelings toward her while discussing finances. It wasn't the first time in 19 years, but maybe it'll be the last ;) Pray for Sister Lamb. She has her hands full.
I felt encouraged and convicted at the same time.
1. I was encouraged because my son knew he was supposed to speak the truth.
2. I was encouraged because my son thought what we were doing was yelling and screaming. That means we've come a long way because we used to yell and scream a lot.
3. I was encouraged because I pastor a church that laughed at me. They didn't walk out on me. They aren't judgmental toward me. They know us well enough to know the adult reality of the situation. I love RT.
4. I was convicted because, whether we were yelling and screaming or not, my son saw what I doing as yelling and screaming. It produced fear or anxiety in his heart. Something that grieves me. I must exercise more temperance and be more gentle with my words.
I've asked my sons and daughters many times how I am doing as a father and husband. I ask them what I can do to be better. Most of the time I get an A, every so often they lay out some hard truths that are difficult to swallow. That wasn't an original idea. S.M. Davis taught me to ask my family those vulnerable questions. I thought it was a great idea and has brought forth much godly fruit.
I'm writing this because I think it's a great practice for all of us. We get so wrapped up in things we don't realize how our attitude is affecting others.
Fathers and mothers ... ask your children how you're doing. Don't get angry with them. Don't talk down to them. If you do, they'll never be honest with you again and you will never become a better husband or father.
Husbands and wives ... ask each other how you're doing. Ask them what you can do to make the marriage better. Be honest and sincere. Be ready for some mature dialogue.
Ask your friends how you're doing as a friend. Ask your pastor how you're doing as a member. Pastors, ask some of your congregants how you're doing as a leader. Be ready for the answer.
Jas 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.