Mark and Audrey were at odds on what to do. It seemed that lately there were a lot of money issues with their twenty-three year old son. Mark was of the opinion that by twenty-three, it was up to their son to be totally independent. “He’s a man, for crying out loud!” Mark bellowed. “I didn’t have my dad bailing me out every time I turned around.”
Audrey had been tempted to challenge him because she saw things differently. But she bit her lip and decided to pray about it instead.
“Lord, Justin is still in college with only one semester remaining. He sounded really down on the phone today. It is obvious that he wasn’t sure he would be able to make it through the next few days financially. It had obviously taken a lot just for him to ask. I know we’re paying for part of his college tuition, but everything else is on his dime, and he has maxed out his loans. I know that Justin is carrying a heavy load trying to graduate on time. I understand why he recently quit his 20 hour a week job because of one of the classes he needed to graduate; this leaves him with little to no spending money. It makes sense that He needs a loan. He just needs necessities to get by. Help Mark to see that, Lord, and please help us come up with a solution.”
She thought about how she had seen her aunt operate in situations similar to this. She knew what Aunt Mabel would do. She would just pretend like she was “spending extra money” at the grocery store or some other place and give the money to her son without telling his father.
Audrey didn’t want to undermine her husband like that. She had seen the remnants of trust be shredded by Aunt Mabel’s willingness to “get her way” regardless of what her husband thought. She needed to come up with another way to get Mark’s attention. She also didn’t want to drive a wedge between Mark and Justin.
What was it she had learned in Daughters of Sarah? “State facts without emotion,” she remembered. “Men need short, logical communication.”
As she continued to contemplate how to best approach Mark she kept remembering a verse.
Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.
Audrey kept thinking about the relationship with both of her “men”. She needed to not only show respect for her husband, but also respectfully spur Justin on to independence as well. How could she do that without undermining either one?
The next evening, Audrey ventured into conversation with her husband. “Mark, I know that you and I are at odds on how to deal with Justin’s financial struggles right now. Would you be willing to listen to an idea that I have that might be a win-win for all of us and still recognize that Justin needs to be financially independent?”
When you and your spouse don’t agree on how to handle a particular situation, parenting can be difficult. Communicating in a way that the other understands can be crucial in reaching the best solution. And sometimes choosing to not do things like “Aunt Mabel” did, is a true act of showing kindness out of love.
Dare you to lean toward gentleness in your communication with your spouse.
“Let go…and let God,”