Last week my husband and I had an “interesting” day. I spent the morning getting ready for some company and was a little stressed with all the housework and cooking that was required. My husband, in a very loving way, told me not to worry about it. As he worded it, “everything will work out just fine.” That wasn’t exactly the response I wanted from him. I was expecting him to be a tad bit understanding or sympathetic to my stress rather than him being so nonchalant (sadly, I made a choice to snap at him rather than just letting it go which made the morning even more stressful). As it turns out, he was right, everything worked out just fine and my stress was (for the most part) unnecessary.
That evening, we decided at the last minute to go shopping for some art work. We fed the children a fast dinner, loaded them up, and then drove them into the next town to look at one specific store. Neither my husband or I were impressed with this store’s selection and left the store 30 minutes later empty handed. My take on the evening was that even though we didn’t buy anything, we knew what we didn’t want and now didn’t have to stop by that one store again. I would almost call that a success. My husband, however, was very frustrated that we couldn’t find anything. He said at least three times, “how disappointing…” and he regretted that we spent our evening that way. I actually became slightly annoyed by his attitude because, to me, it wasn’t a big deal. It was in that moment, that I began to laugh out loud.
I told my husband that I know there is a marriage lesson to be drawn out that day, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was. The annoying part is that I still can’t. It might have something to do with understanding and being sensitive to the things that bother (or don’t bother) my spouse. My husband isn’t uptight about housework like I am and I don’t usually get disappointed in unsuccessful shopping trips. It might be a lesson on my reaction as a wife. In both situations, my response was less than ideal. I snapped at my husband when he wasn’t sympathetic to my frustrations and I was not very sympathetic to his disappointments. While I have always known we have different personalities, interests, and perceptions… in daily life, I sometimes forget that and react only on my perception. So, perhaps another lesson for that day would be understanding my mate’s perceptions and not reacting towards him when mine are different. I should have taken in stride his comments about “everything working out just fine” and I should have had a more encouraging word and listening ear to his frustrations.
I desperately want to have a clean conclusion to this lesson, but even after typing all of this out I still don’t think I have one. This makes me wonder if God wants to teach me much more than I anticipated. I certainly need to spend more time in prayer about it, but perhaps He is going to peel back the layers of that day and show me many different lessons I can apply. However, this is what I know right now: I want to be a better wife tomorrow than I was today and so I need to make sure I’m more understanding of my husband’s views – even if they differ completely from my own. I need to realize that my stresses won’t be his and his won’t be mine, but when either one of us is uptight (even over something as little as housework) then I need to make decisions that will bring us together and not add to the stress, frustration, or disappointment. I can’t change his take on things, but I can always, always watch my words, reactions, and sympathies!
If you have any insights into a lesson the Lord might be teaching me through all of this – I would LOVE to hear! I know His lessons for me are far from over!! 🙂