The Honest To Goodness Rotten Reason You Should Never Ask Your Husband If Your Outfit Makes You Look Fat

He slowly turned his face to look at me and the look was priceless. In retrospect, it was actually quite comical.

It was an innocent question, I thought at the time.

I’ve since learned it’s really loaded. Poor guy.

Turns out asking your husband if you look fat in anything isn’t a good thing.

It’s like choking the life-line.

Why doesn’t anyone tell you this when you get married?

There’s a lot no one tells you when you get married, I’ve been learning over the past 25 years.

I’m still trying to determine if that is due to wisdom or folly.

Here’s the real challenge:

To learn to solicit honest feedback without fallout and fakery.

Or to learn to accept honest feedback in the same manner of humility.

It’s not as easy as one would think, eh?

It’s like that meme that goes around and around: Be kind, you never know the battles someone else is fighting.

True.

We don’t know what each other is going through. Fair enough.

But is this the way we are supposed to live?

Like precious snowflakes, ready to melt when the heat is on?

Back in January I had a decent set-back. I was declined a job I didn’t specifically want but I’ll be honest, I could have used. And I saw myself as qualified enough to do it well and do it with integrity.

The rejection had the power to sting. I’d lie if I said it didn’t, even if that was fleeting.

Shortly after (about a week) I’d had enough of my sulking. Time to hold out for some integrity and honesty.

So I wrote some key people and invited them to speak into my life.

No.

I did not ask if I looked fat in my clothes.

But I did ask them to let me know how I show up. Arrogant? Stand-off-ish?

My hope: to gain insights as to my blind-spots and uncover areas I can improve.

It was a really easy email to write and I even included my spouse, my two oldest kids as well as my folks and sister. And a handful of other people.

Don’t know if they felt like my poor husband when I asked him if my outfit made me look less than stellar. I’m a clumsy bear when it comes to judging other people’s comfort.

Almost across the board the answers were very constructive (some had stings, but that’s part of why I wrote it, I wasn’t fishing for compliments.)

One common observation, which surprised me initially:

„This is a great question and I’ve never been asked to do this kind of feedback before.“

In the mean time, I’ve had a few months to let that commentary sink in.

Are we doing ourselves and each other a favour if we don’t open ourselves to honest feedback?

Should life be all roses and „oh that’s special“ and „you just never know what kind of baggage she’s dealing with“ types of relationships?

Isn’t that rather superficial?

I am coming to the understanding that I don’t want superficial.

I don’t think you should want it, either.

This Thursday I’ll be talking about 1 Cor 12 at ICF Frankfurt – you’re welcome to join us – and it’s all about we being ONE body in Christ.

What does this MEAN?

It means if I have NO idea that you are carrying a heavy burden (aka a lot of baggage), then I’m not a very good member of the body.

It means if I’m not willing to be corrected by you (for really stupid stuff I do), then I am also not being a very good member of the body.

How can the blood circulate through the body if extremities are being cut off and not properly cared for within the „system“ body? No blood means no oxygen. No oxygen means… stuff is gonna start to rot.

Rotten stuff stinks.

Do you stink? Do I stink? Does your church stink?

That’s the benefit of superficial living.

On the other hand, there is sacrificial living. That doesn’t stink.

Oh! You don’t believe me?

{I see you raise your eyebrows.}

Riddle me this:

We are told to run the race as if we are going for the prize (the winner’s prize). That requires effort.

What is running the race?

It’s loving God and our neighbours as our selves.

It’s in loving on them again and again.

What happens (this is the riddle) if EVERYONE in the church lived like this?

Huh?

Tell me: if everyone else in the church was busy loving the Lord and loving their neighbour (and you are a neighbour to all others in the church… that means they’re all loving you)… what happens?

Sacrificial living does NOT stink.

It edifies.

It rejoices.

It carries burdens of the downtrodden.

I want to be known as one who lives sacrificially.

Won’t you join me?

Let’s try to out-do each other! :)

That’s my kind of church. That’s my kind of service. That’s my kind of faith.

For God so loved the world so that I could see that I’m wrong… and through the sacrificial gift of Christ on the cross, I could step into a life of abundance and joy.

What do you say?