I am a very private person. I just had a disagreement (we have to call it a disagreement because an argument is not something that newlyweds do) with my wife, Megan, because of how private I am. Yep, we just had a disagreement about fantasy football. I just had the dumbest disagreement with my wife over fantasy football, because I am a private person.
It all started with a phone call.
My friend Jason woke me up at 9:40 a.m. with questions about a fantasy football league I had set up for a bunch of guys that work/volunteer in youth ministry at our church. No big deal, right? Well it wasn’t a big deal, that is until my wife asked me what time I got up today. Megan and I were having our usual “good night” phone conversation (when I work nights), and she asked me what time I got up today. I replied, “I was rudely awoken by Jason.” She then asked what he called about. Mistake number one was answering her question with, “Stuff.”
She, of course, asked, “What stuff?”
Mistake number two was again replying with, “Stuff.”
Very rarely do I keep secrets from my wife. In fact, I can’t even think of one time that I intentionally did it. There is no need. However, I do have a nasty habit of deciding for her what is and is not important to talk about. The reason that I answered her questions the way I did was because I did not feel the need or the importance to inform her of Jason’s mid-morning fantasy football call. Then, when she persisted, I wanted to not tell her even more.
The weird thing is that I have nothing to be private about. I have nothing to hide. But, if I feel that something is not important, I will protect that feeling with all of my being. Even to the point where I have Megan completely annoyed with me.
I am a private person. I do not openly discuss things unless I feel that they warrant discussion. Megan will come home from work and chatter away with very little provocation. Although, when she asks me about my day I am very content with one-word answers. I guess I am not that big on small talk. If I don’t have anything to say, I am not going to dribble on just to hear myself talk or make people around me feel comfortable because the silence was getting to them.
But why was it so hard to answer Megan’s question with, “fantasy football,” rather than, “stuff?” Maybe it was because I thought it was none of her business. I felt a little annoyed that she asked. What does it matter to her what Jason and I spoke about? It’s not like I was talking to another woman.
Paul writes in his letter to Ephesus instructing them to, “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold”(Eph. 4:26-27, TNIV). It is amazing that in those two seconds that it took Megan to ask me what Jason called about, the devil filled my head with various thoughts that led me down the same path—wondering why the heck she was prying into my business. What right of hers was it to want to know what Jason called me about?
You know what? She does have that right. You know why, because she is my wife. We are one, and I need to start recognizing that. When I said, “I do,” I gave up the right to secrets. When I said, “I do,” I voluntarily accepted the opportunity to be intimate with someone that I love very much. Intimacy has very little to do with sex, and everything to do with emotion.
While I was finishing that last thought, the metaphor of Jesus and the Church as a marriage totally became concrete for me. When I said, “I do,” to God I was accepting His invitation to be completely intimate with Him.
All of this strife and enlightenment because I didn’t want to tell my wife about a conversation that I had about fantasy football, God bless ESPN!