How a Flight Safety Seminar is Improving My Marriage

Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back.” —Proverbs 29:11

MAF pilot Pete and Joy Neal - MAF missionary familyAs the spouse of a pilot, one of the things that drew me to MAF was its reputation for safety. But when I was required to sit in a day-long flight safety seminar at headquarters, I was less than excited. When I asked why I had to attend, I was told, “Safety is a team effort. Everyone has to be on board.” I changed my attitude and showed up with a pen and paper. Just recently, I had the chance to put one of my notes into practice.

Last week I woke up to find that my husband had flooded our laundry room. Not only that—he had also rescued two kitties from the trash dump the night before, leaving me to take care of them. I was barely awake and completely frustrated. I was searching for his name in my phone when it occurred to me:

Is it safe to call him with an emotionally charged situation right before he flies?

I put my phone down, intending to “vent my anger” when he came home. Within an hour my anger had faded, and by the time he came home, I was happy to see him. When he found out about the laundry room and how much work the kittens had been, he was apologetic and thankful. It was a very different conversation than the mess I would have caused if I hadn’t put safety first.

There are so many things outside of my control. I know I’m not guaranteed a perfect life or marriage by following Proverb’s mandates, and I know my husband isn’t guaranteed a safe flight by following procedures. But just as a culture of safety is something a flight organization can cultivate, I have the opportunity to cultivate a culture of wisdom and kindess in my marriage—whether he’s flying that day, or not.

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