Last night Bob fell asleep half-way through our date. That always makes me feel lonely, but I know how tired he is by Friday night. I decided to watch a movie by myself. This morning, when we took our walk, I started telling him about the movie. As we got into the area surrounding our house, we saw that there was a 5K Run in progress. Bob was fascinated by it and his mind immediately switched to the details of the race.
“So the father loaded up his old truck with corn . . .”
“Do you think that’s the first group of runners up there?”
“I don’t know. . . But the wife was afraid he wouldn’t be able to make it home before dark and . . .”
“I bet those are the ones who are at the back of the pack.”
And so it went with me trying to tell the story and Bob cutting me off. I could feel myself shutting down emotionally toward him. “Fine! If you don’t want to hear it, I’m not going to tell you. I’m not going to tell you anything else either!”
The movie wasn’t important to me. I didn’t even like it. “Lord, what is going on and where are these feelings coming from? What is the source and origin of the feelings—and my response?”
God’s answer came immediately. It was just like the time when I was 15. I had come home from school with a story I wanted to share. I didn’t think my dad would listen and my sisters were quite a bit younger than I was, but I hoped my mother would share my joy with me. She didn’t. Instead, she scurried around the dinner table tending to everyone else’s needs as I started my story, got cut off, started again, got cut off . . .
I clearly remember the moment at which I flipped the switch and said to myself, “Fine! If you don’t want to hear it, I’m not going to tell you. I’m not going to tell you anything else either!” It was the moment of my permanent emotional separation from my family.
As I walked next to Bob this morning, I became aware of the devil’s evil prompting: “Just flip the switch. He’s not interested in you.” What a lie! While it was true that Bob was not interested in my story, it was not true that he was not interested in me! But that’s how the devil works. He tells us something that seems true—usually because it pricks past pain in our lives.
I married a good guy. I know that when I show this to Bob, he will sincerely apologize. He cares about my heart. I bet he’ll even sit down and ask me to tell him about the movie. I may tell him, but I don’t need to. At least I won’t be refusing to tell him. Wouldn’t it be tragic if I’d flipped a switch that caused a permanent emotional separation with Bob?
Are there problem areas that keep cropping up in your life? What are you feeling inside when they happen? Ask God to show you the source of the problem—and what He wants you to know about it.