My husband was behind schedule as he headed out for work. He had pulled the trashcan out of his man cave, which is a remodeled trailer in our backyard, and told me he’d put it away when he got home. I don’t particularly like going out there—the man is brilliant!—it includes leaving the locked door in my office, walking out on the deck, remembering to find the key to his man cave, unlocking the door, going inside, which feels a little creepy, and locking the door upon exiting. Locking a door sounds simple but not this one—it’s always a pain because you can only lock it from the outside, which usually takes me multiple attempts. Once done, my own victory dance ensues. As he rushed out I said, “I’ll put the trashcan back, don’t worry about it.”
Why did I say that? I hate going out there.
Goodbye kiss, “Don’t make dinner; I’m not sure when I’ll be home. I’ll eat leftovers.” Not make dinner? And all I’ve got to do is put the trashcan back? I’ll take it! Deal!
Multiple times throughout the day I passed the dreaded trashcan.
Oh yeah, I’ve got to put that thing away.
Have you ever noticed that focusing on “me” comes naturally?
What do I need?
- What will make me happy today?
- I’m going to eat that pie before someone else does.
- If I leave the pile of dishes in the sink someone else will clean it up.
- I’m saving [fill in the blank] for ME.
No one had to teach their toddler to say the word MINE.
I never did put that trashcan away that day. I had one simple thing to do for my husband on that particular day…and I didn’t do it.
I was too focused on ME.
And yet, God instructs us in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
And in Ephesians 5:22, a huge order for wives instructs, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
Moving on to Ephesians 5:25 – “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
These are strong
suggestions asks commands.
Many like to buy into the mindset that marriage is 50-50. “I’ll do my half as long as he does his half.” “I’ll apologize if she apologizes.”
If we are to have a marriage which honors God we need to fight against this tendency.
I’m blowing it all the time in my marriage. I’m having to catch myself and make an about face and give it my all. But it’s not always easy, and I have to fight with the selfish beast within.
Because let’s face it…
Divorce court is 50-50. A marriage that honors God is 100 percent.
I had the honor of writing a featured article in the summer edition of Hope for Women’s Magazine and you can read the rest of my “trashcan” story there @hopemag and the full Marriage Shouldn’t Be 50-50 article.
Lucille Williams is the author of “From Me to We: A Premarital Guide for the Bride- and Groom- to- Be.” Listen to a podcast on Productive Ministry with Lu about sex and ministry.