Today I found the worst “wife birthday” card ever.
I was at WalMart (yes, I confess I was shopping at Corporate Evil HQ) for a birthday card for my wife, and I found one that said … Well, I’ll have to paraphrase because I can’t remember word for word:
I love you because you understand me. You love me despite my faults, and you see me for who I am.
Now, I want you to pause here, look away, and decide whether you agree that’s a really terrible card. If you don’t understand, then what I’m about to tell you will change your life and your relationship with everyone.
Pause, pause, pause, while you’re not looking and deciding why it’s a terrible card.
The World’s Worst “Wife’s Birthday” Card
Can you paraphrase what that card says? Here, let me give you a different paraphrase:
“I love you because you think about me and let me talk about myself even when it’s your birthday. You’re not bothered by the fact that I can’t get my mind off myself.”
If you’re a Christian, you have to do a lot better than that—and with more than your wife.
At Rose Creek Village, we like to say that if you want to speak into another person’s life, you have to answer three questions for them: Do you love me? Do you see me? Do you care?
You can answer those questions with your eyes or with your words. You can answer that question in advance by the way you treat the person that you’re talking to. But in some way, you need to answer those questions—and answer them all with yes—before you can really expect them to hear what you have to say.
That world’s worst wife’s birthday card doesn’t answer those questions, it asks them.
Husbands, at least on your wife’s birthday, surely you can answer those questions for her, not tell her you appreciate that she answers those questions for you! Talk about selfish! Good grief.
If you’re one of those guys who would have bought a card like that, then it’s time to look at yourself ONE LAST TIME. Acknowledge your selfishness, repent, and forget about whether anyone, including your wife, understands you. UNDERSTAND THEM INSTEAD!
I think it was Frances of Assissi who prayed:
Father, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all of my heart
Time to pray that prayer, then buy a card that talks about her, not you.
A Final Note
Some years back, I used to run a warehouse by myself. Every day UPS would come by and pick up the packages I’d packed. The UPS driver was a real chatty fellow, very pleasant to be around.
Anyway, he’d get to telling stories, and then he’d stop and say, "Enough about me. Let’s talk about you. What do you think about me?"
He was joking. Make sure when you act like that, you are, too.