My wife, Amy, had a perfect father.
I don’t mean that sarcastically. He really was one of the best men I’ve ever met.
Okay, maybe he wasn’t perfect, but he was close. John Godwin was gentle and kind and caring. He worked in the flower beds around the house and helped fold clothes and clean dishes. He was handy, so he remodeled and fixed and cleaned and maintained everything. For 40 years, he worked at the High School in Port Arthur. First as a biology teacher, then as a counselor. He taught Jimmy Johnson, the famous coach of the Dallas Cowboys, high school biology. I asked, “Was he a good student?”
John said, “Not really, all he ever did was draw football plays.”
John also taught Janis Joplin.
“What was she like?”
“Very . . . unusual.”
John was a deacon at the First Baptist Church. He spearheaded the community beautification project.
My dad, Jack, was a great guy too. But in the exact opposite way. Dad was the life of the party. President of his class. However, dad didn’t cook, clean, or do laundry.
So when we married, I had certain expectations of what a husband should be that I picked up from my dad. And Amy had certain expectations she developed from her dad.
Man, was she ever in for disappointment. The first few years were adjustments for both of us. I had to learn to pick up the pace and she had to learn to dumb down the expectations.
One day I came in and there was a circle on the refrigerator.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“I cant tell you,” Amy said. “It might hurt your feelings. Its for me. It helps me.”
A week or so passed and the circle remained. I would plead, “Tell me what that is.”
“Can’t. It might upset you.”
This only made it worse, of course. Finally I said, “Look, you have to tell me. I promise I wont’ get mad.”
She said, “That is a zero. It reminds me of what I should expect from you.”
I have to confess: I got a little mad.
“So you’re saying I’m a zero!”
But Amy knew something I had to learn. We must take people as they are. She wasn’t saying I was a zero. She was saying she needed to expect nothing. That way she would appreciate anything extra that I did. It’s a good way to view life and people. Drop the expectations.
Here’s a verse to help you get started
And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)6:00