Home Correction letter A Big Bundle of Little Things: A Letter to West Franklin

A Big Bundle of Little Things: A Letter to West Franklin

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West Franklin Family,

I don’t know about other married couples, but for Katie and I, our biggest fights are about little things. The big important things? If we have disagreements, they are minimal. The little, little unimportant things? For some reason, we tend to get worked up in a big bundle. I should clarify – I get in a big wad on the little things. I can’t explain why. The more I try to figure out what “triggers” it, the more frustrated I get. We recently had one of those useless and ridiculous riffs. I’m too embarrassed to even share what it was about. But believe me: it was a big riff on a small, unimportant thing. We went to bed angry, and by the time I dozed off, I hadn’t planned on apologizing or giving up defeat for at least 5 years.

The next morning I did what I always do – turned on the coffee maker, left Eddie outside, sat down at my desk for some devotional time with the Lord. As usual, my mind was filled with things that had been said the night before – again, for the smallest thing. I made the mistake of opening my Bible to Proverbs 17. Major mistake on my part. If I wanted to spend the day telling myself how right I was in my words and my actions, I was taking a wrong step. If I wanted to justify my behavior, I should have gone back to bed or turned on the television. Unfortunately, I started reading. The Holy Spirit was waiting. Fists raised like a boxer looking to land his first punch. Then came blow after blow after blow.
“He who maintains love covers up an offense, but he who repeats the affair separates close friends.” (v. 9) – “Right hook!”
“Starting a quarrel is like breaking a dam; so let it go before a dispute arises. (v. 14) – “Left hook!”
“He who loves strife loves sin. . . ” (v. 19) – “Uppercut to the chin!”
“He who has knowledge uses words sparingly, and he who has intelligence is even-tempered. Even fools are said to be wise if they are silent, and intelligent if they are silent. (vs. 27-28) – “He is out!

This is the last time I will read the Bible in the morning. . .

I’m joking.

In fact, it reminded me of why I do read the Bible in the morning. On the one hand, I never do not need to remember this wisdom. I have been reading Proverbs for years. And by the time of our “rage at something stupid” riff – I had forgotten the wisdom of this beautiful book. I need the constant reminder. Second, it reminded me that the Holy Spirit knows. The Holy Spirit knows me. The Holy Spirit knows what’s going on. The Holy Spirit knows exactly what I need and exactly when I need it. We don’t serve a cold, dead god. No. We serve a living, active and lovingly intimate Father. Third, although I joked above about the Spirit “boxing” me, I remember that the Spirit of God in God’s Word is always for our good. The idiot from the night before was me. The moron, the one who caused the most pain, was me. The words of the Spirit remind us of what a wise and full life looks like. They were jabs, of course. But strokes of love to slowly bring wisdom into my life (and my marriage). Finally, it reminded me why every follower of Jesus – especially husbands and fathers – should view reading the Word as non-negotiable. Not because it has to. But because it is a primordial way of being with the Father. This is where we hear the loving Father speaking to us. Men (women too, but . . . ), you and I are going to do some bullshit. We will make mountains out of molehills. We’re going to say things we wish we hadn’t said. We will always need course correction from our gracious, loving, ever-seeking Father. Fortunately, he still speaks and gives us immeasurable wisdom to bring wholeness to our lives (and our marriages).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to figure out how to “encourage love” and “let it go” and hate “a quarrel” and “keep quiet.” Anyway, I need to get out of my big wad and eat a big slice of humble pie. Spirit, give me wisdom.

I look forward to opening my Bible with you in the morning to John 12:1-3. It would be a good idea to read John 11 in advance.

Because he talks

Pastor Matt