A while back there was a problem I had to address with a woman in the church. Before I dealt with it, my husband and I had fully discussed it as we do most everything. Not only was he in full agreement with me, but he too felt an urgency that things needed to be addressed. Although we were both in agreement, I was the one we agreed should address it. She didn't receive it. After giving me a few choice words she deleted and blocked me from her facebook. However it was rather amazing how she instantly became my husband's greatest fan. For the first time she started pausing at the door after church to tell him, "Wow, that was such a fantastic message!!" or posting things like, "Happy birthday to an amazing man of God!" on his facebook page. I had to just shake my head and laugh for she evidently had no idea that although he wasn't the one to meet with her and address her issues, he probably felt even more strongly that she needed to be put in check. (Why didn't he delete her? Because as a general rule neither Larry or I delete anyone from our facebook, although we do hide some statuses simply to avoid exposing ourselves to toxic stuff.)
Of course, I'm not always "the bad guy." There are plenty of times Larry confronts things. There was a man years ago that Larry had to deal with on some things. I not only saw this man's problems, I believe he probably needs some serious inpatient therapy to ever lead a normal life. But since it was Larry who actually held the conversations with him concerning his behavior and corrected him, he evidently thought I was not in agreement with the stand my husband took. He would say all these wonderful things about me, in fact when he ended up leaving the church he wrote a goodbye letter and spoke of how mean and insensitive my husband was, but went on to say what a shining example of love and grace I am and how he's so grateful for my ministry.
Do these people not know we are one flesh? Do they not realize we share not only the same bed but that we walk in unity in leading the church? "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Amos 3:3
I also see that this naivety isn't altogether limited to the church world although I think it flows most freely there for some reason. I chose to speak my mind to someone who was a friend. This caused a fallout with me, which hasn't been a bad thing. Although Larry didn't speak his mind he actually feels stronger about the situation than I do. In fact he warned me about it before I even saw it coming! The person treats Larry very differently-- but I realize, that's because I was the one who chose to verbalize what we both happen to think. And that's okay.
A few observations I have about this:
- People often mistake silence for agreement.
- Many people are very child like. Regarding the church, they may be 40 or 50 years old but spiritual kids are just like natural ones in many respects. If Dad corrects them over something, they run to Mom looking for a different answer, for shelter, for an ally, or even to try to manipulate for a different outcome.
- Some people actually seem to believe they might be able to get your spouse to come into agreement with them, instead of you.
My point is, I find the naivety of people thinking we don't communicate interesting.
Have you noticed this about people?
And...what do you think?
Is it naivety? Denial? Manipulation? Something else? Let's talk.