All He Heard was “Boooooo”
By Ann Wilson
One morning, Dave and I were speaking to a group of young moms at our church. Dave began telling the women what almost every one of their husbands probably experienced growing up. “He most likely had a relative cheering for him, ‘Good job!’”
Then he brought me into the story. When I said yes to his marriage proposal, he explained, I was shouting, “Of all the men in the world, I choose you!”
And then he lowered the boom.
“But ladies, after we have been married awhile, all we hear is ‘BOOOOOO!’”
On the ride home I defensively asked, “You think I boo you? I’m not booing you—I’m helping you.”
“It doesn’t feel like help,” Dave quietly said. “You are constantly critiquing the things I do or say.”
I began to ponder what things would be like if I were to constantly cheer for him. I was concerned this wouldn’t work, because he would think I was satisfied. And that wouldn’t be good, right?
I went on like this for several days until I felt God tugging at my heart, calling me to surrender this situation.
So I prayed. Father God, forgive me. I have not been respecting Dave; I’ve been nagging him and criticizing him. I give up my control of trying to change him.
A few months later, our family sat down for dinner. I said, “I want to stop for a minute and say thanks to Dad for working so hard every single day to provide every meal for our home.” Then I turned to Dave and continued, “It’s easy to take your hard work for granted. You are a really good man.”
Later that night, he told me that my words were the best thing that had happened to him all week. All he heard in that moment was applause.
Over the next months, as I began looking for things in which I could encourage him, I began to see God changing me. This doesn’t mean I lost my voice and never criticized Dave. But my anger and bitterness started going away, replaced by a heart of peace and joy.
The good stuff: Therefore encourage one another and build one another up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Action points: Would your spouse describe you as their cheerleader or critic? Consider surrendering yourself to the Lord, and ask Him to give you eyes to see your spouse the way He does. Think of specific words of encouragement to tell your spouse this week.
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