Catching foxes

Sometimes I think I’m crazy. Sometimes I think I make mountains out of molehills. If you look at all the “deep” conversations Brad and I have ever had about our relationship…I’m the one who initiates them…every single time. Which makes me feel crazy. Sometimes. But here’s the deal….I like to catch the foxes before the vineyard burns down.

What on earth does that mean?

Good question. I’ll tell you.

There’s this story about a man in the bible, Sampson, who became thoroughly ticked off at the father of his bride who gave his wife away to another man (probably would tick me off too).  Anyways, because he’s ticked he takes 300 foxes and ties their tails together. Then he attaches torches to the tails and lights them on fire. Then he sets the foxes loose in his father in laws vineyards.

Dang.

Catch the foxes. Save the vineyard.

Here’s how I see it. There’s 3 places where this could be stopped before complete and utter destruction….1) Chicks dad could have honored his word 2) Dad could have gone to Sampson and made it right when Sampson was gathering the foxes. 3) Dad could have gone to Sampson and made things right before Sampson lit their tails on fire and sent them through his vineyards.

Here’s how this applies to my life: Lately I’ve noticed that I’ve been snapping at Brad when it comes to how we take care of Zoe. Brad is a terrific father. Amazing. Wonderful. And very different than me. Go figure. And so, naturally, when he’s doing something with Zoe it stands to reason that he’s doing it different than me. And on the occasion that I feel like I need to say something….rather than saying it nicely, it comes out very tense, very short, and very “not so nice”.

I began to realize I was doing this a couple days ago when Brad was putting Zoe in the car seat and she was crying. I can not stand to hear her cry if I know that I can stop it. There was a pacifier beside her. Had I been putting her in her car seat, the pacifier would  have been in her mouth almost immediately. But I wasn’t, Brad was putting her in her car seat. And he obviously didn’t mind her crying. (He’s not insensitive…he’s completely focused on buckling her in as quickly as possible so that she stops crying). And so I felt like I needed to tell him to put the freaking pacifier in her mouth already!!!! And then I thought, “Oh wow. that wasn’t very nice at all.” And then over the next few days the Holy Spirit began showing me that I have been letting stuff like that, small stuff, build and build my frustration level….and that causes me to snap at him.

Catch the foxes. Save the vineyard.

It seems so small. And right now…it is. That’s the beauty of this saying. There’s more here than just a difference of when to use a pacifier….deeper issues in my heart that I had to deal with.  A lot of what I was struggling with was fear….fear of lots of stuff, but mostly, running over Brad (figuratively speaking) and losing our teamness as parents…and so I never offered my opinion or advice..I just shoved it deeper and deeper inside. Issues that, if dealt with now, will save us lots of fights in the future. Thank God we have the Holy Spirit and he ALWAYS shows us a way out in the beginning before we’re so far down the road that we don’t even know how to turn back.

Here’s another example of what I’m talking about. I was watching a show on tv the other night and it was a show where the husband and wife were having severe issues in their marriage. The kind that are vicious cycles…he’s frustrated that they never have sex anymore, so he takes his anger out on his wife. She gets upset with him for being upset with her and withholds sex. He gets even more upset and begins calling her names (like “you lying whore”) and she withdraws even further, refusing to have sex with him (go figure), he threatens divorce and can not understand why they don’t have sex anymore…they used to be so in love and they used to have such a great sex life.

I’m not a genius…but I’m going to guess that he didn’t start off by calling her a “lying whore”. I’m gonna guess it was something much smaller….almost unnoticeable, he said something and she let it pass, except maybe she gave him a look that said “that was a jerk thing so say”. And then the next day something else happened…and she gave him another look, maybe sighed. The next day and the day after that…still small, still unnoticed. And then weeks go by…months..fights become not just about what you “did” but about what “you always do” (which very rarely is the case…it just feels like that) and it’s not longer “that was a real jerk thing to say” it’s “you ARE a jerk”. Again, I’m not a genius…but I’m going to guess that at one point they were in love. And now they’re not. And they have no idea how they got here….

Catch the foxes. Save the vineyard.

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