Tuesday, October 10, 2006

When Your Wife Warns You

Much of my time as a pastor is spent in marital counseling of some sort. But recently I had a real test as to if my ability to help other married couples had any merit. My wife called me to say she had an e-mail to send and was going to come into the office here at the church to send it. I thought, “Hmmm, that’s nice to know.” Yet, it still seemed a bit strange simply because typically my wife would just swing by. I have never really known her to give me any kind of advance notice before showing up at the office.

I had good reason to think this out of the ordinary as my wife continued. “I’m letting you know this as a warning.” Now my mind raced in a million different directions…all of them bad. What had I done wrong? Or worse yet, what had I forgotten? Why did I need to be “warned” before my wife came by the office? What could possibly be so bad that it necessitated being warned? Something was awry…but what could it be?

Then the whole story came out as she continued on the phone, “I got my hair cut today!” Now just wait a minute. When your wife gets her hair cut and then has to call you before you see her new dew for the first time to warn you that she got it cut…what does that say about the new look? Obviously, it was going to be a major change. This was not going to be a simple “hair cut.” No, this was drastic. This had all the makings of a major marital tragedy that could disqualify me from ever doing marital counseling ever again.

I hung up the phone and began to picture my beautiful wife with any and every wacko hair style imaginable. How would she look with an afro? What about a mohawk? Did the hair stylist use the old “bowl and cut” method? What color would it be? Purple? After all, that is my wife’s favorite color. I started nervously pacing around the entire church office. Why did she have to warn me? What did this mean?

How would I react when she walked in? More importantly, how should I react? What would I say? More importantly, what should I not say? This wasn’t the proverbial spousal question of, “Does this outfit make my butt look big?” This was far more serious. After all, she called to warn me in advance. How bad could it be if she had to call to prepare me prior to the unveiling? I developed what I thought to be a fool-proof strategy. I decided to picture her bald. That way, no matter what the new style looked like, it would be a “step up” from what I was expecting.

I went back into my office and braced myself for what I thought for sure would be the shock of my life. Finally there was the tap on my office door. This was it. This was the big moment. I tried to sound confident as I said, “Come in.” The door opened and there she was…my beautiful wife with her new hair color and her new hair style and it was stunning. It really looked good! Praise the Lord!! I didn’t have to lie. After we talked and laughed, my wife left relieved that I was impressed. As I sat in reflection I had to wonder why I was even remotely concerned. After all, my wife would look good no matter what the style of her hair…even if it was purple.

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