I must admit that I am not always right. Of course, I did not understand these dynamics until after entering the world of marital bliss. Although I may not always be right, I'm willing to "fess up" to it when somebody graciously points this out to me.
Fortunately, for me, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has made this the supreme priority of her life. Moreover, I must say, I am all the better for it. I, on the other hand, have made "fessing up," the supreme priority of my life. This has made for a wonderful team.
Most people do not know when they are wrong. Nobody tells them about it so they just go their way in the wrong direction doing the wrong thing.
I take comfort in the unexpressed fact that I may not always be right, but then, on the other hand, I am not always wrong either.
I did not fully understand how this affected me personally until an incident happened this past week. It's funny how one little incident can bring your entire world into sharp perspective.
We were going out for a special occasion and just as we were ready to leave my wife turned to me and said, "You're not going to wear that tie with that jacket, are you?"
I take pride in the fact that I can match a tie to a suit or sport jacket. I've been doing this all my life and at the time, I was not in the mood of having somebody adjust my apparel.
"There is nothing wrong with this tie," I said rather smartly. When I am right, I am right and I don't care who knows it.
"All I will say," she said rather stiffly, "is that you will regret wearing that tie."
There is nothing more sporting, at least in a husband's frame of mind, than a good challenge. And, if I say so myself, I was up for it, which only goes to show how wrong a person can be.
I had just bought this tie a few weeks before and I was anxious to show it off to my friends that we were going to meet. And, being the sporting husband that I am, I said as much to her. "This is my favorite tie and I'm going to wear it tonight no matter what you say."
Can I get all the brothers to give me a loud, "Amen," for that. We in the brotherhood need to stick together and there is no thicker brotherhood than husbands.
She gave me one of her looks and then said, "Do what you want to do, but I'm just warning you."
I might mention that my tie was a nice bright golden tie with decorative silver stars and moons sprinkled on it. The first time I saw it in the men's clothing store I fell in love with it. Not often do I go gaga over a piece of attire but this one rather caught my fancy.
When we got at the restaurant all of my friends admired my new tie.
"That's a terrific tie," someone said.
"Where did you get a tie like that?" Another person chimed in.
I will not say I took advantage of the situation; I did but if I have to say it, you do not know me very well. Occasionally I glanced toward my wife and raised my eyebrows three times, which is a sign of arrogance on my part. I have earned this moment and so I was going to cash it in for all it was worth.
But what I did not figure on was the fact that we were at a restaurant serving all-you-can-eat spaghetti. I love spaghetti, and so I was planning to have a wonderful evening.
All my friends were admiring my tie, and I was pigging out on all the spaghetti I could eat. Plus, and this was the real plus, I had one over on my wife. Husbands do not get to this place in life very often and so when it comes, exploit it. And I did.
Then it happened. I will not say whose fault it was, although I have some very deep suspicious ideas. My wife was sitting to my left and somebody on my right asked if we would pass the spaghetti. I was so busy gloating that I did not realize what was developing.
"Here," my wife said, "pass this on."
Whether she let go before I grabbed it, or, my left hand went numb, I will never know. I am not one to pass judgment. However, accidents do happen.
The bowl of spaghetti sauce slipped out of my hand and attached itself most ferociously to my prized tie. All around the table there was a gasp. Then silence. Then out of nowhere came a very distinct snicker. I have heard this snicker many times before and did not have to turn to see who the proud owner of that snicker was.
In fact, all the way home I heard low-volume editions of that snicker.
Being the man of the house, I drove all the way home in silence but I was thinking of a verse of Scripture in the book of Proverbs. Proverbs 16:18 says: "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
Can I get an "Amen" for that?
The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship,