Do This, Not That
By Lisa Lakey
Have you ever read one of those books that tells you what to eat and what not to eat? Order the chicken sandwich, NOT the burger. Helpful, right?
Sure, it is. I like the straightforwardness of it all. But I don’t advise applying this philosophy to your marriage. This sounds odd, but bear with me for a moment.
Early in our marriage, I was one of those crazies who reloaded the dishwasher after my spouse. The way he did it drove me crazy, so I would rearrange the cups, flip the forks around in the basket, and sneak in a few extra dishes. Yet, imagine my anger the night I walked into the kitchen for a drink of water only to find the dinner dishes piled up in the sink.
But he said he was going to clean the kitchen! And he did, sort of. He put away the leftovers, wiped the counters, and rinsed the dishes. “Is the dishwasher broken?” I asked. “No,” he replied. “I just figured you would rearrange them anyway.”
Ouch. Consider me convicted.
We often don’t see how our “gentle correction” of our spouse can convey a different message: Your way is wrong. I can do this better myself. You’re not good enough.
In 1 Corinthians 13:5, we’re reminded, “[Love] does not insist on its own way…” When I go behind my husband to “fix” his work, “correct” his attitude, or consistently suggest doing things the way I would do them, I’m insisting on my own way.
I don’t want to be that wife, a “do this, not that” spouse.
I want my husband to know I am confident in him, his capabilities, and his choices. If that means loading the dishwasher differently or ordering the burger, so be it.
The good stuff: Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Action points: What “do this, not that” moments do you have with your spouse? Apologize for any instances that come to mind where you expected your spouse to do things your way.
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