from Rachel: Faulty Assumptions

How are assumptions and thoughts connected?

“They are foundational – the groundwork”

Did you tuck away some faulty assumptions as an older teen or young adult? List three examples.

  • “I’ll do better later – I’ll have more time then.
  • “A little more won’t hurt – I’ve already come this far (‘I might as well be hanged for a sheep as a goat.’)
  • “Some things I’m just not good at, so it’s okay to let them slide.”

What faulty assumptions have you held [about your husband]?

  • “He knows the same basic facts I know.
  • “He will express his needs and desires as I would.
  • “He could be more like I am, if he wanted to (e.g., sleep schedule).

How did one assumption impact your relationship?

“Our only real fight came out of the first.”

Faulty assumptions always reveal themselves in wrong thinking and result in erroneous action.

  • Martha (John 11:21) questioned Jesus’ motives behind not coming sooner.
  • Jezebel (1 Kings 19:1-2) exalted her belief in idolatry against God’s miracles.
  • Rachel (Genesis 30:1) threatened to give up hope if she did not get her way.
  • Job’s wife (Job 2:9) suggested when life is hard, abandon God and take control.

How does your dictionary define assume?

“To take for granted or without proof; to suppose.”

Now look up the word presume. What does it mean?

“To take for granted; to assume; to suppose.”

Read Psalm 19:13. What does the psalmist pray God would keep him from?

“Presumptuous sins.”

Describe a time you have been presumptuous.

“I know there have been too many to count, but I can’t think of a specific example.”

Was your presumption arrogant or humble? “almost always arrogant”

Was your willingness to presume a result of pride or submission? “generally pride”

How does presumption reveal itself according to 2 Peter 2:10? “despising authority”

Reconsider your presumption. Was it fueled by a faulty assumption? “Yes” Describe your faulty assumption and the wrong thinking that resulted:

“In most cases, that I knew more than I really did, or knew better/more than the other person/people did.”

Have you ever been willing to hold on to faulty assumptions as acts of presumption? “Probably”

Dearest Rachel –

As is so often the case, this particular day’s study is one where you were forced to confess something about yourself that most of us would rather not admit to; that of pre-judging a situation, and getting it wrong, which all of us do at various times in our lives. It’s always embarrassing when the truth comes out, and having to dwell upon it again is decidedly unpleasant, to the point where you couldn’t think of a single example, even as you admitted there were countless such incidents in your past; you just couldn’t think of the details of a specific one.

And to be honest, I’ll have to let you off the hook here; I can’t think of any, either – although I’m further disadvantaged by never having been in your head, and knowing what assumptions might have been going on in there that would precipitate some otherwise unwarranted action. Sure, you mentioned our one fight about the dishwasher, but unless I’m specifically involved in a situation like that, so many such incidents would pass without my ever knowing about them. Besides, after all this time, it’s hard to speak ill of the dead, especially one so treasured as yourself.

Although it’s weird to see a question that addresses our relationship as specifically as the one here does, but it seems we’re in agreement on this. And the one where you recognize that you would assume I would think and respond the way you would is the reason I worry about describing certain events from our past, as I’m not truly sure what your perspective on them might have been. Like you, I would guess that your reaction would be similar to mine, but on an intellectual level, I know that’s not the case. Unfortunately, without you around to fill me in, I can only make guesses as to what you may have thought in any situation.

I will say that your third assumption about me could as easily gone both ways. Why you would think I would be able to change my lifestyle – exemplified by my sleep schedule – to match your own, particularly when I was, at the time, dealing with external forces (like my job and its arrival requirements) that precluded any attempt to change it to better align with yours, I can’t imagine. In fact, given that I couldn’t change myself, I might as easily have hoped you would be the one to do so, to accommodate my schedule. And there were times when I saw my retiring to the bedroom routinely at 10:30 p.m. as an attempt to serve as a good example, which you never seemed willing to follow, no matter how sleepy you were or not. Eventually, I gave up trying to coax you to follow me, but I stuck to my own schedule, as I’ve never been (and don’t see myself ever becoming) a night owl, and certainly not one like you (or Daniel) were.

But those are the sorts of things we expect, all the while recognizing that we have no right to impose such expectations upon each other. We may stifle these expectations, and never express disappointment that the other doesn’t live up to them, but they do tend to lurk under the surface, regardless. If I behaved that way toward you, honey, I’m sorry – but I know that both of us thought this way from time to time. It’s a part of each of us being human; we’re not perfect, and we won’t be until we reach that plane where you now exist.

So until then, honey, keep an eye out for me, and wish me luck; I’m sure I’m going to need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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