Is it about the nail?

I hate to generalize. Not ALL men are from Mars. Not ALL women are from Venus. But there are enough examples in life to make some truisms even if they don't always apply to everyone.

Case in point - "they" say:
  • Men are problem-solvers. They want to fix problems. 
  • Women are talkers & emotional. They want to be heard, not fixed. 
This issue raises its ugly head in my marriage, and likely does in yours too. My husband Tony thinks he's trying to help. I assume he's trying to fix something in me that I don't think is broken.

So when Tony found this brilliant, hysterical video on facebook, he shared it - on facebook, in small groups, told our patients, pretty much let his entire corner of the world know it was out there.

If you haven't seen it, you must.

And then after  you watch it, continue reading below:


For over 2 years, Tony and I have been enmeshed in a current day David and Goliath fight. Our opponent looks and acts so much like Mr. Potter from It's A Wonderful Life that I occasionally inadvertently refer to him as Mr. Potter. Our Mr. Potter is a real estate mogul who bullies people into doing his will rather than obey the town ordinances, and unfortunately our house stands in his way.

This week provided another round of worries as we tried to discern what Mr. Potter and his land-moving equipment were up to.

Throughout this ordeal, Tony has tried to solve the problem ~ as men are apt to do. He's tried to reason what steps we should take or not take as the case may be. There are a few decisions we've had to make, but at this point, there's little we can do but wonder. So this week, Tony did what he's done before. He took a walk.

His walks in our local arboretum have been incredible transformational times where he's grown closer to God. And this week was no exception.

When he returned, Tony shared how he had been caught up in a whirlwind of thoughts ~ what are they doing, is there something I can do about it, who should I talk to, on and on. Then he sensed the Lord saying,

"It's not about the nail: Don't try to fix it. Just listen to Me."

It goes completely against his problem-solving nature. I'm so darn proud of my man for seeing this truth, for sharing it with me, and for allowing me to share it with you.

So let me close with this:

Ladies: Sometimes it really IS just about the nail. Don't be defensive or argue with your husband because his solution to your problem may be all you really need.

Men: It isn't always as obvious as the nail. Situations we deal with can be complex and unsolvable, at least at the moment. There may be other people or issues involved. Sometimes it's enough to be a compassionate listener without offering advice.

And everyone: Don't try to fix things in your own strength. And always listen to God!

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways,"
declares the Lord.
Isaiah 55:8

Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself,
and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:33 

But He said to me, 
"My grace is sufficient for you, 
for My power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9

Who do you identify with more? The fixer or the one who wants to be heard? How do you resolve differences between you and your spouse?


Robin said...


LoRae said...

This was so good!!!

Raun said...

Excellent video! And your content is very well put - this is a "hall of famer"...{;0

Penny said...

Oh yeah, looks familiar...

lynnmosher said...

Oh, so good, Susan! Great advice! I'm praying your Mr. Potter problem gets resolved. Blessings!