A slow day at the clinic allowed me to break away for the five minute drive to my house. I knew my health-conscious husband would appreciate the other half of my salad and since I would not be home to cook dinner again tonight, the poor guy could at least enjoy a nice meal in front of the basketball game. As I approached our house, I smiled thinking of this sweet man who would certainly appreciate my thoughtful gesture.
As I approached the door I heard a familiar sound and entered to find Scott on the other end of the vacuum hose. You would think my esteem for him would have skyrocketted in that moment, but instead I felt a clenching in my gut. Suddenly I was not a good wife. He was doing my work and my inadequacy was confirmed when over the ‘whirrrr’ of the vacuum I heard, “This place is a mess!”
In 1.8 seconds flat, my jovial mood was snatched away and any thankfulness between us was stolen.
Without saying a word I shot him ‘the look’ (you know the one I am talking about), threw the salad in the fridge and before slamming the door on my way out I said, “I brought you dinner. I’m sorry I’m not a better wife!”
Hmmmm. This wasn’t the wonderful little scenario I had planned. I turned off the worship music in my car and instead, seethed in my shattered expectations.
It didn’t take long for the conviction to set in.
“Tell him you are sorry.”
I wanted to ignore the little ‘voice’, push it back and stand on my self-righteous convictions. After all, look at all the hours I was working! I was doing the best I could, right?
“Tell him you are sorry.”
Ahhhhhhh! That inner voice - the One I have come to love, yet sometimes dread.
In my head I argued, “But Lord, it is not my fault! Didn’t you hear what he said to me? Don’t you know how he made me feel?”
“Just tell him you are sorry.”
As I worked, I played the scene from our family room over in my mind. Within an hour, God broke through my defenses and my anger turned to prayers for my attitude, my husband and our marriage.
I texted Scott: Thanks for vacuuming. I’ll be home at 9. Love you.
Just as I was going to hit send, a message came through from him: Thanks for dinner. Can’t wait for you to get home. I love you.
Tears welled in my eyes. God had been working in both our hearts at the same time.
Once again I realized how my fears and pride had tried to cause division in our marriage. Satan loves to play on our fears so we defend our vulnerable places. Marriage brings out our most vulnerable places and instead of fighting to keep my insecurities, I am learning to release them to the Lord and trust my husband with my heart. After 30 years, it is about time don’t you think?!
I want us to appreciate each other. I want us both to pitch in and do the housework. I want us to work as a great team. I want us to come together in intimate oneness. Everything I want is truly within my grasp and sometimes it is preceded by swallowing my pride and saying three…small…words:
I. Am. Sorry.
Scott loved his Huckleberry-chicken salad. And the dessert was pretty good too!
Written by Kathy Cordell
Sept. 23, 2013