I’d have blown it on my own!

28 Mar

Last night would have gone so different if my husband wasn’t as wise, insightful, and loving as he is as a Father.

We jumped in the van to head home from Bible Study as a whole family.  Our boys always have fun and have never said anything negative about going at all.  But for some reason, last night, they were frustrated and talking non-stop.  They were sharing stories of feeling bullied, being pushed down and laughed at.

My natural instinct kicked in.  “What were my children doing to instigate this kind of night?…. because it’s never happened before.  I stay home with my children.  They are FAR from being angels.  They fight, punch, laugh at and steal toys from each other multiple times a day.  I highly doubt if they were innocent here.”

I started to say to them “What were you doing?”

And my husband interrupted the conversation to say this “Boys, let me make something REAL clear here.  If you ever feel like you are unsafe, being bullied, or being hurt, you come get me RIGHT AWAY or scream really loud so I can hear you and come to you.  Or if you have to, make sure you tell me later just like you are now. You did the right thing to tell me.  I will ALWAYS protect you. No matter what. I will always make sure you’re safe.  And I’m going to handle this situation from tonight.”

That kicked fear inside of me into high gear.  I HATE confrontation.  I can’t stand it.  The thought of it can give me anxiety that causes physical illness.  And we’re just getting to know some of these people.  The last thing I want to do is go up to one of them and say “Hey, I think your kid was hurting my kid.” And then have some weird dynamic and give us a bad rap for blaming other people’s kids for all the problems.

So I spoke up and encouraged our kids to play with the other kids there and avoid the kids they were having problems with.

And my husband spoke up again and said “No matter what, make sure you always come tell me when you have problems and know that I’ll protect you.”

He then turned up the radio and said to me “You’re going to make them feel like they did something wrong and what if they really were being hurt, or later in life are being abused by someone or something… they won’t want to tell us because they’ll be afraid we’ll doubt them or that we’ll think it was their fault or we won’t protect them.  I know they were not innocent tonight.  I’d rather talk to them next Wednesday night on the way to study about their behavior and how we want them to act while we’re there but not right now while they’re trying to tell us that they felt hurt.  Do you disagree with me?”

No.  No I don’t disagree at all.  He was very wise and very right.

I was more afraid of confrontation and keeping the peace with people than protecting our children.  Granted, we don’t believe they were in extreme danger, and we do believe they had a hand in the situation.  But, my reaction was condemning.  My husband’s reaction was loving and safe.

It’s amazing sometimes how our fears cause us to lose perspective of what’s best for others.  My fear brought about justification for someone elses actions as well as diminished the feelings of my children.

Thank goodness my husband was there.  And praise God for the conviction and realization so I can be aware of this in the future and keep better perspective.  It’s still going to be challenging to face my fears.  But this was a huge wake up call as to why I have to do it.

Practical Application –

Whenever fear is present, evaluate the situation at hand and ask some tough questions before reacting.

1.) Am I asking someone else to just forget about how they feel, or avoid the situation?

2.) Am I getting angry with someone so I can justify not having to do what I’m afraid of doing?

3.) Am I stepping out of my role as a spouse, parent, or friend to someone I love and letting the ball drop on my responsibilities to them just so I can avoid the hard stuff?

If I can answer yes – it’s time to face the fear before I regret it one day later.

 

 

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2 Responses to “I’d have blown it on my own!”

  1. Rachel Self March 28, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    Wow, when my husband or a friend tells me something bad about someone else, my first instinct is to ask questions. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, and so I’ll ask for the context of the situation. I’ll ask about their tone of voice. I’ll try to rationalize positive reasons the other person may have done such a thing.

    I think sometimes that’s a good thing. I used to really struggle with gossip & with jumping to conclusions too quickly, so I’ve worked really hard at not talking badly about people, and at giving them the benefit of the doubt even when they were probably wrong. I never want to assume the worst, or assume that their bad behavior has bad motives.

    But reading your post I realize that when I do that, I’m always choosing the other person’s side against the people I love and care about! And it has never even dawned on me–how wrong that is! You’ve definitely given me something to chew on…and work on! I suppose there’s a balance I’m needing to find that isn’t condemning or critical of the other person, but that IS loving and supportive of the one I’m talking to.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Kayla Gulick March 28, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

      You’re welcome! It has been a HUGE wake-up call to me, and makes me cherish my husband’s wisdom so much! I am much like you described – and I too will be working on a better balance!!

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