Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On Being a Spouse

We hurried the family out of the house last night for a family activity right after dinner. Upon leaving the activity, I took the kids home while my wife went to assist another family member. I was tired when we got home. I wanted to sit down and relax at the computer. I had about 20 minutes before I needed to begin the family bedtime routine.

Then I saw the kitchen. We had left in such a hurry after dinner that the dinner dishes remained to be done. I felt the draw of the computer. After all, I had had a busy and full day at work and had enjoyed very little down time. I reasoned that my wife would have more time later on or even the next day to deal with the kitchen than I had.

I sensed the lure of the computer, but my shoulder angel whispered that I should clean up the kitchen. My shoulder devil responded that my wife didn’t really expect me to do the chore. Besides, she might not even recognize that the kitchen had been cleaned. She might not even remember that we had left it in a mess if she returned and found it clean.

It was almost as if I heard words in my mind saying, “She might not know, but you will know.” I was reminded that the real reason for doing the chore was not to impress my wife or to prove anything to her at all, but simply because I loved her. It would not matter whether she recognized this act of service or not. It only mattered that I do the chore in the spirit of love.

I relented and made the right choice. I cleaned the kitchen and had the younger kids in bed by the time my wife returned home.

You can go to the movies to see glamorous depictions of romance. And romance is an important element in a marriage. But true love occurs in the mundane moments of life year after year, even after the beauty of youth fades. I wish I could say that I regularly do well at this sort of thing, but at least I am learning. And I am grateful to my loving wife for her patience in this process.
Through the years as the fire starts to mellow
Burning lines in the book of our lives
Though the binding cracks and the pages start to yellow
Ill be in love with you.
(Longer by Dan Fogelberg)

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