For the past several days, I've been mulling over how to write my next post. Once more, I've let pride get in the way of my relationship with God and with others. For some time, I have had the impression that my wife was unhappy about the way her life is going and have been praying about how best to help her. I want so much for her to have the same joy I've been experiencing. When I thought the time was right, and without much prayer about whether it was indeed the right time, I proceeded to tell her what she needed to do to be happy. Not surprisingly she took exception to my unsolicited advice and was hurt that I had presumed to try to "improve" her. Immediately, I knew that I had allowed false pride--an unwarranted belief that I was somehow more "in touch with God," more holy--to cause me to assume things about my wife that were not true. As she explained to me, her comments that I had interpreted as symptoms of unhappiness were instead heartfelt complaints about matters that were troubling her, comments that she felt she could only share with me and that these comments in no way indicated an underlying unhappiness with life. Because of my misinterpretation of these comments, she wondered whether she should not keep them from me, too.
My pride had caused the person I care so much about to feel suddenly that she could no longer share her inmost thoughts and doubts with me, lest I use them to "diagnose" her mental state. After much discussion and my profound apologies for my overweening desire to take upon myself the mission of enabling her to be happy, we came to an understanding that reaffirmed our love for each other. In the process, I learned much about my wife that I should have known after 40+ years of marriage, and I resolved to continue to ask God help me to open my heart more so that I can replace my excessive pride with a more genuine ability to minister to the needs of those I love.