I have a thing for pictures. Okay, that’s an understatement… I’m obsessed with them.
My husband often has commented on living in a frame shop because of all the sayings, Scripture verses, and family photos that adorn our walls. I do fairly well at living on a budget. I don’t shop very often and can pass up most sales, but when it comes to pictures (specifically personal photos) I fail miserably.
For example, last year on vacation, our family stopped for the “mandatory” green screen photo when we visited an aquarium. Jason never had any intention of buying it, but I did. Throughout our entire visit, I kept complimenting how great the photo was in hopes Jason would buy it. Despite my best efforts, he couldn’t justify spending that much money on one photo when we were already taking so many with our camera.
We left the aquarium empty handed, and later that night that I unleash all my frustration onto him. I minced no words as I told him that if it were something he had wanted, we would have gotten it. Why are my desires too costly while his, which are equal in price, okay?
A few weeks later this arrived in the mail:
My husband had wrestled with our conversation and prayed for God to give him eyes to see things that are important to me. He said he would never let just pictures come between us. Ever since whenever we take a mandatory photo, he leaves the final decision to purchase or decline to me.
Pictures are more important to me than “just pictures.”
This past weekend, my daughters were in their annual dance recital. As always, they sell the photos of the dancers at ridiculously high prices. Last year, I had a dollar amount and chose prints which stayed in that price range. This year, my husband was in charge of ordering them, but as I came to the table to check on him I saw a preprinted, framed, 11X14 model photo of my daughter!
“We have to get that one!”
“No way, it’s 50 dollars.”
“It doesn’t matter. Look how adorable it is.”
“I see it. I’m ordering that same print in a 5×7.”
So, in a moment of desperation, I went to my mother who was also at the recital and asked her to buy it. I wanted that photo!
I couldn’t escape the visions of hanging it up in Selah’s room but then realized Jason would have to change his order so we could get the same size photo (with matching frame) of our other daughter, Havana. It was the only fair option. As I barked my change of order to him, I could sense my husband quickly tensing up. I apologized, tried to laugh it off as something “I just have to have,” and reiterated to him how important photos are to me.
Basically, I acted like an impatient and spoiled brat.
As we drove home, my pride wanted to flare up against Jason’s frustration, but I knew my actions were inexcusable. In a 10-minute time frame I:
- Didn’t support or submit to my husband’s decision.
- Didn’t partner with my husband’s financial goals for our family.
- Went to my mother to get what I wanted (the opposite of “leaving and cleaving.”)
As I apologized, my husband said, “It’s okay, they’re just pictures.” I love his commitment not to allow small things to come between us, but I have a responsibly to adopt the same mindset. I too need to realize they are just pictures. Our marriage would have survived without those pictures in our house. My girls would still have a beautifully decorated room without those two giant posters of themselves.
After all, they are just pictures!
What a better demonstration of my love it would have been if I had trusted my husband to make the right choices for our family, supported his decisions and used that as an opportunity to brag to my parents and others that Jason is such a good steward of our money.
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones. ~ Proverbs 12:4
I desire to be an excellent wife, and I want to be known as a crown to Jason. As simple as “just pictures” might be, when I let them wreck our unity or place them on a level of importance so hight that my husband cannot reach, compare, or influence… I’m bringing shame. Pictures are my thing, and I have made them untouchable for Jason, but if I have one area of my life where I can be like this, who knows in what other areas down the road I might compromise in. While my husband might not understand my love for photos, I can try to comprehend his rationalizing how much we spend on them. I need to lessen my grip on my personal longings and replace them with a desire for unity with my husband above all else.
Do you have “just pictures” in your life? How do you handle the little things that can cause a big divide?