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.
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 (Philipians 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.
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.
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