Friday, January 27, 2012

Poor Advice

Yesterday was the 45th anniversary of mine and Mr. J’s first date. It was a blind date that I didn’t want to go on and so I got unready thinking I was being spiteful to the friend who was making me go. Needless to say, the friend didn’t suffer in the least. But I came home that night and cried because I was sure he’d never ask me out again. However, miracles happen (that’s a whole different story!) and he asked me out the next day and the next and the next and before I knew it I was engaged and everyone was giving me marital advice.

The advice I got the most often sounded profound at the time: “Don’t ever go to bed on an argument.” So when we got married, and had disagreements we remembered the advice and tried to work out our problems before we went to bed. What a MISTAKE! Both Mr. J and I get grumpy and ornery when we are tired and trying to solve problems late at night when we were grumpy and ornery and tired was disastrous. We’d be up half the night and never come to anything close to resolution.

After several years we got wise, (I know I’m a slow learner!) disregarded the terrible advice, and just went to bed when we were upset. Miraculously 90% of the time the next morning we found the problem had somehow disappeared while we slept. The other 10% of the time we were able to solve the problem quickly because our minds were clear and alert.

The amazing thing to me is that a few years later I found this very principle taught by Nephi. After Nephi has the beautiful vision of the Tree of Life, he returns to the family camp and finds his brothers fighting. He knows he needs to help solve the problem, but he is exhausted from the experience he has just had. So instead of trying to jump in and solve the problem in his tired state, he tells us “after I had received strength I spake unto my brethren” (1 Nephi 15:6).

Now that’s the advice I should have been given. Trying to solve problems with children or spouses or anyone when you are tired or hungry or out of sorts doesn’t work. Like Nephi we need to wait until we have the strength to deal with the problem. That isn’t always possible, but when it is—do it!


Anonymous said...

Very wise advice, Sherrie. And I do think blind dates are one of those things that no one wants, not realizing sometimes people see things in us we do not see ourselves. I have much gratefulness to the friend who persisted in having me meet her friend. I would have missed out on the best eternal companion a girl could find. However, blind date romances usually have very funny stories attached to them. Someday you'll have to share yours.

Wendi said...

I noticed that about Nephi when I read that again recently. Thanks for the good advice. :)

Kristen said...

I completely agree with your advice and I really like how you pointed that lesson out using Nephi. I never caught that before! Good news! Thanks:)