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She Doesn’t Want Me to Not, Not Hug Her? - I Do Every Day - April 29

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She Doesn’t Want Me to Not, Not Hug Her?
By Bruce Goff

“Dad, green beans are vegetables!” My 4-year-old daughter asserted with the confidence of a well-trained botanist.

An argument had erupted. My wife and daughter were on Team Vegetable, while I contended that green beans are technically legumes.

We swirled in a good-natured argument, loaded to the brim with ignorance.

Eventually I asked our smart speaker, “Are green beans legumes?”

The speaker responded, “Green beans are vegetables.”

My 4-year-old looked at me in triumph.

So I pulled out my phone and did a quick search. Aha! None of us were right. They’re fruit.

“Are green beans fruit?” I asked our third-party mediator.

“Yes ...” (I knew it! They’re not vegetables!)

“... green beans are vegetables.”

This is how I sometimes feel in a heated argument with my wife.

She’s told me sometimes she just needs a hug in those moments. Often I’m too mad (sinful) to oblige. But a few times I’ve tried and gotten a “Don’t touch me!” in response.

That might at first seem like a logical contradiction. But the Bible calls husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way (1 Peter 3:7). So let me try to understand her:

Yes, she wants a hug from me when we're arguing.

But she doesn’t want it from an arrogant husband who makes her feel stupid and unappreciated.

Now that seems like a perfectly reasonable request: an act of love in an unlovable moment.

And as much as I’d love for a smart speaker to side with me, how about I just love my wife—without requiring she first meet some imagined threshold of logic (or anything else)?

How about I consider her more significant than myself (Philippians 2:3)?

That’s the way Jesus loves. The sinless One (who didn’t deserve to die) died a sinner’s death so a sinner like me (who deserves to die) could live.

That’s not a contradiction. That’s love.

One of the most important things your marriage craves? Listen to FamilyLife’s David and Meg Robbins discuss how to show up with grace.

The Good Stuff: For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Action Points:

  • Next time an argument starts to build, instead of first trying to prove your point, first try proving your love.
  • Ask God to help you see your spouse not as a debate opponent, but as the good gift he or she is.

I Do Every Day Let’s Go Vertical! prayer guide

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