Once there was woman talking on the phone with a good friend. As it was her custom, she began sharing her latest concerns about her husband. Beginning with the fact that he hadn’t allowed her to do something recently that was very important to her, she began running her husband through the verbal equivalent of a food processor, all the while insisting, several times, that she really respected her husband, but just wanted to “share” because he just obviously needed a lot of prayer.
While she was still speaking, her young son began tugging at her pant leg and asking for something. When his mother shook her head and whispered “no”, the little man took the opportunity to display his feelings on the subject and threw himself (with a great deal of drama) on to the middle of the living room floor. Flailing arms, feet, and various guttural screams erupted in the house. The woman was obviously quite embarrassed for her friend to be witnessing this tantrum over the phone.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “He’s really tired right now, and I think he’s still teething. And well, he really isn’t usually like this.”
The good friend on the other end, being a good friend, inquired, “Would you like me to pray for your son too?”
The woman sputtered a little, “What do you mean?”
“Well, you just spent the last couple of minutes describing all of your husband’s faults, and asked me to pray for him, and now I’ve just witnessed your son’s breakdown over the phone maybe I should pray for him too.”
“Oh, well, sure…” She began, but her friend continued,
“The fact is that you just showed your great loyalty to your son by immediately assuming the best possible concerning him. I’m sure your husband would appreciate the same sort of loyalty from you.”