By Jan Bentley, Guest Writer
I hate to cook. Well, maybe not cook so much as clean up. So we eat a great deal of convenience food at our house. And because I have a sweet, gentle husband who would rather die than hurt my feelings, I never hear a bad comment about my cuisine choices. But lately, I’ve been noticing that he isn’t eating very much. Curious — So I asked him the other night as I cleared his only partially empty plate, “Did you not like the mac and cheese?” His reply astonished me.
“I don’t really like mac and cheese and I’m not very fond of many cheeses…” You could have knocked me over with a wet noodle! After all, given the 46 years we’ve been man and wife you’d think there would be no surprises left. But that was a surprise. And it was a learning opportunity for me.
We’ve all heard the truism “communication is the key to a good marriage.“ I always reasoned that means say what you mean and mean what you say. But – due to the aforementioned reluctance to hurt my feelings – my husband often won’t tell me exactly what he’s thinking. He’s 67, and I doubt that will change at this point. So that forces me to do one of two things: I must read his mind, or I must ask him. I’m learning to ask — and not rankle at the response.
Telling on ourselves with this trifling incident is my way of encouraging all of you married people – young, old, and in-between – to talk to each other, about everything. Start talking if you aren’t, keep talking if you are; and don’t ever stop. How can any of us fix what we don’t know is broken? And how can we know what is broken if we don’t say it? Pretty basic lesson after nearly half a century, don’t you think?
“Speaking the truth in love we are to grow up in every way in Him who is the head, into Christ… let each of you speak the truth…” Eph. 4:15, 25