In my last post, I described Larry and my first vacation. I had high expectations of lots of attention. Larry had high expectations of driving in complete silence. I was crushed and he had no clue of my thoughts.
Looking back, I wish I wouldn’t have assumed Larry’s silence meant he didn’t love me anymore (within a year of our wedding).
It took me almost a decade to recognize how much I assumed! I was always trying to analyze what Larry’s reactions meant and now I know my conclusions were most often wrong.
For instance, when Larry didn’t respond to my attempts in conversation on our vacation, I assumed he didn’t love me and didn’t value my presence. Now I know we both were trying to get our own needs met and we were both being selfish. I reacted with anger when he didn’t do what I wanted. And Larry dug in his heels ignoring me when I didn’t do what he wanted.
Larry wasn’t trying to communicate I wasn’t valued; he just loved driving in silence. It met his need to be in control–to control the car on the road and not have to pass someone again if he stopped! His goal was to arrive! And to do that, he wanted to concentrate. (Plus, did I mention we had a sports car at the time!?
So what could have been the solution? Ask! The solution to assuming (and usually coming up with the wrong assumption) is to ask. But I was afraid to hear rejection. I assumed he would reply something that would indicate I really wasn’t that important. So I didn’t ask.
I really believe now if I had gently asked him without anger about his silence, he would have replied, “Oh, honey, it’s not that I don’t value you. I love having you beside me while I enjoy driving and reaching my destination. I love driving! It’s nothing about you!”
How much are you an “assumer”? Can you identify what you fear hearing if you were to speak up? How would trusting God look like if you risked hearing something about you? Can you look to God to assure you of His love and the value He places on you?
I’ll continue our discussion in my next post.