Mr. “Fix It” Broke It

Early in our marriage, whenever my wife confided in me about a troubling situation, a challenging relationship, or an anxiety-riddled dilemma, my initial reaction was to fix her problem. I mean, that’s love, right? What damsel doesn’t want a knight in shining armor to rescue her from distress? Why else would she share her problems with me, anyway?

Leaders fix problems. Or, so I thought.

A counselor told me, “Brent, just jump in the mud with Becky. She wants to be heard, not saved.” Huh? Obviously THIS guy isn’t married. But, as he instructed me to allow my wife to freely share hurts and struggles, I saw her out of the corner of my eye nodding (emphatically, I might add) in agreement.

I don’t fix problems for others anymore, because I learned a valuable lesson.

Leaders fix problems listen. And, get muddy. (137 words)


  1. wow. perfect. so great.
    i just wrote that last line on my wall.
    enough said

  2. Here’s to you being a true “mudder”, Keith! I like your idea of writing it on a wall or somewhere, because I easily forget. Thanks for your words and encouragement and for being willing to lead well!

  3. Renae Peterson says:

    And I thought you were just an avid and frequent spa guest, always with a mud pack! Thanks for jumping in the mud with me, many times!

  4. Haha! Wish I was a spa guest, would totally listen to people’s problems ALL day long in that setting! 🙂 You’re easy to be in the mud with. Love to you!

  5. David Burd says:

    Excellent lesson!

  6. Thanks, Dave! Wash, rinse and repeat for me. Still have the propensity to fix it, fighting that always.

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