Several years ago, my husband and I attended a marriage retreat with couples from our church. One of the key points many of the women came away with is the fact that women are historical in nature, while men tend to be event-oriented. Normally, I shy away from putting men and women in completely separate boxes. It’s more like a Venn Diagram. There is usually some overlap when it comes to generalizations about behavior, preferences, and characteristics. However, I can definitely see where the speaker was coming from with this one.
We girls get annoyed about something our man does and remember how he did it two days ago, last week, two months ago, three years ago, and the first time he ever did it – five days after the honeymoon was over. In fact, that’s when we realized the honeymoon was over. (Just for the record, it’s usually something that’s not really a big deal either. Simply annoying.)
On the other hand, while our man might remember the incident from two days ago (if we brought it to his attention at the time), he doesn’t remember last week, last year, and certainly not five days after the honeymoon was over. He thinks the honeymoon is still going!
I found myself struggling with this concept. If that’s how we are – and I can see that we are – how do we make it work? Knowing that God knit each one of us together in our mother’s wombs and He made men to be men and women to be women, I believed He had a solution for the historical vs. event quandary. I just didn’t know what it was.
Some of us were discussing this again one evening at a women’s Bible study where I voiced my struggle. I was not-so-gently reminded by one of the women about First Corinthians 13, the love chapter, and the part about “love keeps no record of wrongs.”
You know that moment when you take a risk in a group, bare your soul, and someone blasts your insecurity with a barrage of Bible verses you can’t really argue against? Yeah, you know the moment. Well, dropping the Scripture Bomb put an end to the discussion on that topic for the evening. It just wasn’t a safe place at the moment to continue with my, “Yeah, but….”
It stayed on mind for days. I know – I know I’m not supposed to keep a list, but we had been sitting there agreeing that we are list-keepers! Even if the annoyance is forgiven, it’s not actually forgotten and tends to resurface when a similar incident occurs.
That’s when the light turned on. From a sound sleep I awoke with the thought, “I can keep a record of rights!” My historical nature can keep all the records it wants as long as the list is about the good things. As for the annoying things? God’s mercies are new every day. I claim that for myself all the time. Perhaps it’s time I follow God’s example and let my mercies be new every morning as well.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds
and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling,
gracious — the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly;
things to praise, not things to curse.
Philippians 4:8 MSG