Keith L. Anderson, Ph.D.
I’ve talked to people who have complained about their spouse being too strict or too demanding. However, the most interesting complaint was the man who claimed his wife was too nice. What guy would ever complain about his wife being too nice? This person’s story will help you to understand why the Bible says to ask and it shall be given. You’ll understand why the Bible says knock and the doors shall be opened. Oftentimes people talk about the faith aspect of the two passages. However, it just may be the action involved within each passage that’s more important. In each passage we’re asked to do something. In the first passage we are asked to ask. In the second passage we’re asked to knock.
In the complaint this man spoke about in regards to his wife being too nice, he claims in over a decade of marriage he has never had a ‘honey do’ list. His wife has never asked or knocked for him to do anything. At first glance a lot of men would wonder why this guy is complaining. Well, here’s the catch. Come on, you had to know there’s always a catch. This man’s wife just expects things to be done and her feelings to be known, without a word spoken. She expects him to know exactly what she wants. Whenever he doesn’t guess or get a vague hint he notices a change in her demeanor. That’s when he realizes there was something he did not do, or say, because, you’ve guessed it; she doesn’t complain either. Well, at least she doesn’t complain with her words.
This guy claims he could go spend their life’s savings and nothing would happen to him. “She would just forgive you?” I asked.
He said, “She wouldn’t even get mad at me to have to forgive me.” This guy has to police himself. He claims policing himself, to be a good and just human being is very difficult. He claims he ends up overcompensating. He claims because of having to work so hard in trying to figure out the right thing, the unsaid things, he doesn’t have very much fun in his life. Now he has begun to resent his wife. If policing ourselves was easy we wouldn’t need policeman and FBI agents and etc. God would have sent Jesus if He believed, we as humans would always do what’s right.
Throughout society we seem to want to rid ourselves of all negatives and all confrontations. We don’t want to be questioned or tested. We seem to want everyone to just know what we need or desire. Some of us think never having or even causing a little strife makes life rosier for humanity. Instead we want others to be able to give us what we need when we need it, without us having uttered a word. It’s an odd philosophy, that doesn’t work, because people have and will always take advantage of those who are weak. Sometimes it may just be a mental advantage, but the Lord knows we’d take it.
Never telling someone what you want or need from them is a dangerous guilt-trip game. It’s not being sweet by any stretch of the imagination. A person who has to spend their married life trying to guess what their spouse wants or desires lives a life of hell on earth.
Jesus, told us to ask and to knock. Why would He do that? Doesn’t the Bible also tell us, God knows of our wants and desires before we ask? Then why does He require us to ask for thing? There must be a good reason. Therefore, if God requires or wants us to ask Him for the things we need or want, why would we think people with no angelic powers would have the ability to give us what we need or want without being asked? Why do we just expect folks to just do the right thing, even when they don’t know what the right thing is?
We want to do what’s right. However, God knows we often don’t do what’s right. We need help knowing what is right. Knowing what’s right comes from God in many ways. Nothing what our spouse or friend or children want, most of the time is something they have to tell us. We can get better at it, but not until communication has taken place. It’s difficult to write a check for the correct amount if you can’t read or write. Knowing what to do entails getting down to the basics. Learn to read before writing checks is getting down to basics. Telling someone what you need and expect from them involves getting down to the basics of communicating. Communication has to be multi-directional, not one way. So whether a person is too mean or too nice, there’s an element of communication missing. Somebody needs to start communicating. In fact two people need to start communicating.
Maybe God understands the importance of communication. Maybe God wants to hear from us. Asking Him and knocking on His door are ways to communicate. Some knee bending may be required. People who have learned to communicate with God have saved themselves a lot of grieve and heartache. As good of a communicator we may become, we still need people to tell us what they want. It’s not fair to expect others to delve into the inner recesses of our minds and figure out what we want and need. And it certainly isn’t fair to expect them to get it correct, after having to do their best guess work.
Having to police oneself is the most difficult thing for a human being to do. It’s probably why every modern country in the world has a police department of some type. Most of them even have an agency responsible for making sure the police departments do what’s right. So, if police have to have police watching them, what chance do we have in trying to police our everyday lives ourselves? We’re most likely to get what we need and want if we communicate, so knock and ask. Help your spouse take the guesswork out of pleasing you.