Every Sunday morning my dad and I would get ourselves dressed to the best of our ability and then…
“Are you wearing that?” my mom would ask one of us.
To which I responded, one morning when the spirit of sarcasm had descended upon me, “No, mom, this is just what I’m wearing until you tell me what I’m wearing.”
My wife’s much more subtle. “Did you know you have some clean jeans hanging up?” she said this morning.
What? A guy can’t wear cargo pants, a dress shirt and track shoes?
There are a million ways to let a guy know you’d like him to change pants. There are a million ways to tell your spouse you’d like to spend more time with him. How many ways could we tell our kids we’d like them to change their study habits or dress more modestly or be more grateful or whatever?
Could the change we want to see be just a few more-carefully chosen words away?
Eric Lohe, a pastor in Westfield, Indiana has been a friend for almost a decade now. He’s a wise man and a great communicator who has brought about change in his church by tweaking his ask. He no longer pleas for volunteers. In fact, he’s stricken the word “volunteer” from his church’s vocabulary entirely.
“Volunteer,” Eric believes, makes service (something essential to every Christian life) sound optional: something I can sign-up for or not. Instead, Eric’s church knows that Christians love one another actively and cheerfully. They are taught, not asked, that Christians serve one another.
Now if only I could get my wife to say, “You know, when you wear these pants over here? I have a hard time keeping mine on.”
Faster than any man has ever changed before.