Friday, April 13, 2012

Protect Her from Her Fear

Everyone has things they are afraid of; that’s a given. Even the toughest of soldiers, who would stare an armed enemy in the face, have fears. While they may not be afraid of that enemy, they may be afraid of snakes, or spiders or heights. One can never know the fears of another by looking at them on the outside, because those fears are often hidden things of the heart.

What do we typically do when we find out someone else’s fear? Why, we make fun of it. That’s right; one person’s fear is another person’s joke. We think their fear is funny, but we don’t appreciate it if they act the same about ours.

Let me ask you, how many times have you made fun of a fear that your wife has? Maybe she’s afraid of bugs (not an uncommon situation among women) and you laugh at her. Perhaps she has a fear of flying, and you laugh at her every time she has to get on an airplane. It doesn’t matter what it is, it seems that we all laugh at each other’s fears.

Yet, I have to ask, what message are we sending, when we laugh at our wives fears? Aren’t we reducing their concern to nothing? Aren’t we saying “your opinion isn’t worth anything”? Aren’t we reducing their value in our own eyes? Ouch! That’s not something we want to do, to show our love.

In reality, nobody can control their fears. Oh, they can learn to control their reaction to them, but they can’t control their fear. The fear is there, whether they want it to be, or not. They can study about it and try to overcome it, but that won’t make it go away. All fear is irrational, it tries to control us, we can’t control it.

In all fairness, many fears have some basis in fact. Many of the people who survived the Great Depression in the last century, died decades later with a fear of not having enough food. One who has fallen from a great height will naturally have a fear of heights. A child who suffers a painful insect bite can easily develop a fear of bugs. But, not all fears can be explained so easily.

Okay, so what does all this have to do with romance? Good question. First of all, we all need to change how we react to our wife’s fears. While it may still seem funny to us that she’s afraid of escalators, we shouldn’t show our humor. Respecting a person for who they are includes respecting all they are. Secondly, it is important to protect them from those fears. If our wives are afraid of something, then we should do what we can to ensure that those fears don’t have an opportunity to manifest.

Let’s take something simple like bugs. We lived in a house which had a serious cockroach infestation. Had we known about that, before renting the house, we never would have rented it. However, we live in an area where cockroaches are common, so it’s not all that surprising that we had the problem.

The place in our home which the cockroaches liked the most was the kitchen. Every morning, we’d wake up to find 20 or 30 of those pests on the kitchen counter and in the sink. It didn’t matter if everything was spotlessly clean and there was nothing for them to eat, they’d be there looking for it anyway. So, I made it a habit when I woke up to go in the kitchen and deal with the cockroaches. That way, my wife wouldn’t have to.

Of course, that didn’t totally solve the problem and no matter what we tried, we never managed to get rid of them. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean I stopped trying. We sealed and sprayed and put out traps and every other trick we could find, just to try and get rid of those pests. Finally, we moved out of the house; they’d won the battle. In our new house, we don’t have that problem.

But, I won my battle as well. Even though I didn’t manage to eliminate the problem, I at least was able to make it easier for my wife. I couldn’t protect her totally from that fear, but I at least did so partially. That was at least a partial victory.

I said that we don’t have a cockroach problem in the new house, and we really don’t, Even so, every once in a while I’ll find a dead one on the floor, when I wake up in the morning. I keep a mini dust-pan and brush in the laundry room, which I call the cockroach brush. When I find them, I get rid of them, before my wife has the opportunity to see them. I’m still trying to protect her.

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