I walked into my kitchen, saw a pile of dirty dishes and thought… He [my husband] doesn’t love me.
After 34 years of being in a devoted and faithful marriage, and a kitchen with dirty dishes turns me into an insecure high school girl who just found out her boyfriend forgot their three-month anniversary.
What is wrong with you? Thinking like this is ridiculous… ri-di-cu-lous! Completely. Dirty dishes, and suddenly you feel unloved? Pull it together woman.
For you to fully understand this I need to back it up. Back. It. Up.
When my husband gets up in the morning he is usually the first one into the kitchen. Can we say I’m not a morning person? Well, I’m not. Now that my kids have all moved out and there’s no pounding on doors in the mornings, reaching for my Bible is the first thing I do. Imagine if I didn’t do that? Let’s not!
If Mike sees dirty dishes he cleans them. I’ve never asked him to do this, he just does it. Now, I know what you’re thinking “He’s the perfect husband, Lu, I really can’t relate to this.” Don’t check out. Yes, he does dishes but he is not the perfect husband, no one is, we have our struggles just like any other marriage.
For the morning in question, with dirty dishes, it happened to be a Sunday. He was headed to church. I was headed to our daughter’s…new baby…where else would I be going? Mike’s a pastor and Sundays are a pretty big day. Oh I’m sounding horrible about now.
Stay with me…
Mike and I attended church Saturday night. Saturdays are my big ministry days.
We got home late Saturday night and he had started his dinner but I finished it up for him.
And here it is…
I was the one who left the dirty dishes.
Back to Sunday morning…
Mike had asked if I wanted to go to Starbucks with him before he left for church. Of course I did, and we spent time talking and catching up. Then I got home and saw the dirty dishes.
And there’s where the story catches up…
I go from I have a wonderful husband to He doesn’t love me quicker than light speed.
Have you ever done that? Shifted gears emotionally quicker than a two-year-old?
Your husband usually takes care of the oil changes for your car, and then one time he forgets…and you feel like he doesn’t care?
Your wife usually picks up your shirts from the dry cleaners, but one day she was busy…and you feel like she doesn’t care?
He usually takes out the trash, but the can is overflowing…and you feel like he doesn’t care?
Sometimes we can have irrational thoughts which just don’t make sense. We get used to things being a certain way, and when the pattern changes, we add a detour to the story allowing our minds to take us on a journey we need not travel. That’s what I did with the dishes, and I needed to rein it in. Rein. It. In.
I needed to apply Philippians 4:8:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Was it true that he didn’t love me? No. He had gotten up early to spend time with me.
Was there any honor with this line of thinking? No.
Was I right? No.
Was traveling down a dark path of insecurity pure or lovely? No.
Was my husband admirable? Yes.
Could I find things to be praising God for? Yes.
Is there excellence in my life? Yes. Could I think about those things? Absolutely! Starting with a great husband who cleans dishes and makes the bed!
I switched gears again…
So what if he didn’t do the dishes this morning. He loves you. He shows you that daily. Be thankful for a husband who helps out and works hard and provides. I can do the dishes before I leave.
I cleaned the dishes and went into the bedroom and saw the bed wasn’t made.
And started all over again…
He doesn’t love me…
I’ll make the bed.