How can one jar of peanut-butter cause so much trouble?
No kidding, that’s what I wanted to know too.
Because apparently it was A Big Problem and he made that quite clear.
My husband was fed up with the sticky, slimy mess dripping down the sides of the peanut-butter jar and told me he wishes we’d put a stop to the madness.
“Why can’t we keep this jar clean?! There’s no reason we should live like this and it’s driving me nuts!” He didn’t yell, but I could tell by his tone that he really meant it.
Oh, but there was a very good reason as far as I was concerned and protested against his somewhat ridiculous request.
Actually, there were eight good reasons. You see we have these things called children and one mother can’t be on top of everything!
Why so unreasonable? So demanding?
Now on his behalf, I have to tell you that my husband is not a complainer.
He doesn’t make negative remarks about my cooking. He doesn’t complain about having to throw on his robe in the morning and search for the essential items in the laundry room…He’s even good about patiently sitting in the car and waiting for me to get out the door. And that can be a pretty long wait sometimes.
But the goopy peanut-butter container? That just about does him in.
So how many of you moms can I count on to side with me on this one?
I mean, we have a bunch of kids and they all make their own peanut-butter sandwiches. Even the three young boys. Let’s face it – it’s a sticky, slimy world we live in.
And I basically communicated to him . . . .
Sorry. But that’s just the way it has to be.
That we were going to have to learn to live with it. That he was asking the impossible. And I left him in the kitchen feeling quite justified in my defensive and huffy response.
Except for one thing . . . .
My Wishes in the Parlor
I left the kitchen to recover and regroup in our front sitting room – our “parlor” as we call it and my very favorite room in the house.
It’s a special place.
The Parlor has pretty pillows, a tea tray, and a clear glass (yes, that would be GLASS) coffee table.
The kids are not allowed to eat in this room.
Or have their electronic gadgets.
No Legos, dirty socks, or rollerblades are permitted in the Parlor. Happy sigh.
I love this room.
Now, wait! Are you beginning to wonder how it is that I can keep an entire room looking pristine even though we have all these children? With a glass coffee table, no less??
Well. It’s because it’s important to me, of course. Very important.
But I can’t keep the peanut-butter jar wiped down?
Yeah, that’s the question that got to me too.
You see, I have this tendency to take my priorities very seriously. And this room is one of those.
Not only that, but when the rest of my family do their best to keep it the way I like it?
It makes me happy.
I feel respected.
Maybe even loved.
I know. It’s a small thing. So maybe you don’t see why it’s a big deal to me.
But it kinda is.
If at all possible.
Showing Love by Respecting His Wishes
So maybe I don’t understand why all the fuss over the sloppy peanut-butter jar.
But if it’s important to him?
Makes him happy?
Then I can do this small thing.
In fact, I’m determined to have the cleanest peanut-butter jar in town.
And if your husband also has those “small wishes” that bother him? Consider the ways you can make them your priority too.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~ Philippians 2:4
*BONUS: Ask Your Husband
What are some of those little wishes that you’ve asked me to take care of, but that I’ve blown off?
Then let him know that you want to work on making his small preferences more of your priority.
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Marriage Weekend on FAITHFUL LIFE
On one level, your spouse’s wishes aren’t important at all. If he/she gets all or none of them, life will still go on.
But when it comes to growing deep in relationship, your spouse’s preferences matter deeply– not because having or not having them fundamentally changes anything, but because of what your care in providing them is saying loudly, without words.
There’s always a powerful message in your level of service to each other.
So I hope you can join Matt and me on the FAITHFUL LIFE podcast, Marriage Weekend edition where we’re talking about how changing our perspective on those little things can turn out to be a big (wonderful) deal! We hope you find this conversation both encouraging and helpful!
In His grace,
Matt and Lisa Jacobson, authors of 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife, are the hosts of a weekly podcast to talk about what it means to be a biblical Christian in marriage, parenting, church, and culture. Matt and Lisa offer deep encouragement, along with practical steps and true-life stories, as we grow in walking the faithful life together.
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