‘Take delight in honouring each other.’ Romans 12:10 NLT
One of the most common sources of conflict between husbands and wives comes down to a simple matter of differing assumptions. Dr James Dobson writes: ‘Years ago I went through a very hectic period of my life professionally. I was a full-time professor in a medical school, but I was also travelling and speaking more often than usual. I completely exhausted myself during that time. It was a dumb thing to do, but I had made commitments that I simply had to keep. Finally on a concluding Friday night … I came dragging home. I had earned a day off, and I planned to kick back and watch the USC–Alabama football game that Saturday. Shirley, on the other hand, also felt that she had paid her dues. For six weeks she had taken care of the kids and run the home. It was entirely reasonable that I spend my Saturday doing things she wanted done around the house. Neither of us was really wrong. But the two ideas were incompatible. Those assumptions collided about ten o’clock Saturday morning when Shirley asked me to clean the backyard umbrella. I had no intention of doing it. There was an exchange of harsh words that froze our relationship for three days. It’s important to understand that neither of us was looking for a fight, yet we both felt misunderstood and wounded by the other. Our conflict was typical of what goes on every day in a million other homes. It all comes down not to deliberate antagonism, but to something called “differing assumptions.”’ What’s the answer? Don’t assume, ask!