I have always had a wild imagination. When Jason and I were dating, if he happened to be late for a date, I would jump to conclusions for the reason behind his tardiness.
Perhaps he was late because he stopped to get me flowers. Maybe this was the night he was going to propose and his late arrival was part of his master plan. He was in the midst of throwing me a surprise party and got caught up in a phone call.
When my boyfriend finally showed up and I realized none of the crazy scenarios I had concocted were accurate, I wrestled with disappointment (and sometimes anger). Sadly, not much has changed over the years, except that now it is my husband, not my boyfriend, who pays the price for my wild imagination. Here are some recent examples:
Over the holidays, I saw a commercial for a “right hand ring” from a jewelry store. It is was in the $2,000 price range. I made a passing comment about the ring and then committed, in my mind, Jason purchasing it for me. I didn’t bother with details such as the financial reality that we were (and still are) in the midst of a master bathroom remodel. On Christmas, I opened so many wonderful gifts from my husband, but a right hand ring was not one of them. I struggled to have a grateful heart when I received a necklace from a local department store’s jewelry section because of my fantasy over the ring.
My favorite store, Archivers, is going out of business (so sad) and they are selling everything in their stores. I asked my husband if I could buy one of their tables for my craft room. He went back and forth on the idea, but after two days he said it would be okay. I called the store and asked them if they had any tables left. The sweet lady responded, “We have one.” But then, as I was asking her the specific dimensions of the table, someone else called in and bought it. Disappointed, I hung up the phone, but my despondency was quickly replaced with excitement as I began to reason with myself that my husband had been the person who had just called in to purchase the table. Later, when I told my husband the tables were sold out, I waited for his response of, “Well, it is good thing I got one for you.” When it was clear that he had not purchased the table, I shared with him my daydream (heaping undo guilt onto his head).
My wild imagination can lead me to believe that my husband is the most romantic man alive; which sounds like a compliment, but honestly, it leaves him never measuring up. Often, he finds himself apologizing for not doing the grand gestures that I had dreamt in my false reality.
My mind can also take things in the opposite direction and I can assume the worst about my husband.
If my husband, who for our entire 9 year marriage has never given me a reason to doubt his faithfulness, receives a late night text, I can quickly assume the worst. My mind jumps to conclusions that have no business being in my thought life. Of course, I feel sheepish when I check his phone and it ends up being his sister who lives on the west coast or his dad sending out a late night Bible verse. Sadly, until the sender of the late-night text is verified, my mind wanders to where it should not go.
When my husband apologizes for something that took place only in my head… there is a problem… with me.
I unjustly punish Jason because of my own lack of self-control. Scripture tells us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Additionally, God’s Word encourages us to think only about that which is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). Truly, it is my husband who feels the impact of my disobedience.
As I contemplated this reality, I thought about Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus. When Jesus first called him to be a apostle, Judas left everything behind to follow Jesus. How, during the course of living with Jesus, did he transform from a believer to a betrayer? Clearly, one way or another, he became disillusioned with Jesus. He saw, firsthand, many miracles performed by the Son of God, but could it be that Judas struggled a wild imagination?
When he first befriended the Messiah, did he cling to his own ideas of how Jesus Christ should conduct business? Perhaps the humble Jesus, who loved sinners, didn’t line up with Judas’ idea of a warrior king; the homeless lifestyle wasn’t exactly what he hand in mind. Did he stay awake and dream outrageous scenarios about how Jesus would overtake the Roman government? Perhaps Judas even hoped that Jesus would entrust him with a position of power…
I don’t know if my above assumptions about Judas is Biblically accurate, but it does make me pause to consider the cost of my wild imagination. Could it be, that if I don’t take ownership of my thoughts, I will ultimately grow disenchanted with my husband? Might I one day betray him because my thoughts led me astray?
I am not above the possibility!
I used to view my wild imagination as my own problem; something that leaves me wrestling with disappointment, but possess no further impact. Yet, the Lord is opening my eyes to just how destructive my thought life is. I punish my husband, hinder intimacy, and endanger our marriage when I allow my wild imagination to take over.