Sure, everyone gets married with hopes of the best future. But don’t be surprised when life and marriage collide.
My husband is a licensed professional counselor and a pastor, so he performs a lot of premarital counseling for couples. I’m always giving him helpful advice about things he should discuss with engaged couples.
My newest idea is that he should add one hour of counseling just to talk about dirty socks.
First, he should look at the guy and say, “Do you intend to take your socks off and leave them in whatever place they drop?”
Then he should look at the girl and say, “When your guy leaves his dirty socks in whatever place he takes them off, perhaps even very close to but not actually in the laundry hamper, are you going to immediately assume he doesn’t love you?”
Because this is marriage 101.
I asked my husband, a professional counselor but also a sock-leaver-arounder, to tell us what guys are thinking about their socks when they take them off.
“I gotta get these off my feet,” he said. “Aaaaah, that feels better.”
“When you walk away from your socks,” I asked, “are you in any way making a statement about your wife’s value?”
“No,” he said.
Okay, so I’m a professional wife and also a sock-picker-upper, and I used to get my feelings hurt over those dirty socks. I would see them lying there and immediately think Matt didn’t care about me or surely he wouldn’t have left those for me to take care of.
But this is the man who once jumped between me and a Rottweiler that ran at me on a dark street one night.
This is the man who held me close, night after night, while I grieved my father’s death.
This is the man who looked at me in McDonald’s a few weeks ago and said, “You and me, babe. We’re the only ones in the world right now.” And I swooned like a middle school girl.
This man loves me. Ain’t no lie.
So here’s a truth from Scripture that young women need to hear, as part of their premarital counseling:
“…the devil…is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44 ESV)
The devil wants to destroy our marriages, and it works pretty well to whisper into a woman’s ear, “See those socks? He must not care about you.” And the woman who feels not cared for becomes resentful, and resentment can turn into deep-seated bitterness that will undermine the relationship.
We need to be prepared for the lies.
He Loves Me
You know that game we played as young girls? We held the flower in our hands and plucked one petal at a time. He loves me. He loves me not. He loves me. He loves me not.
Well, the devil is going to try to get you to think, He loves me not. He loves me not. He loves me not.
So the next time you see those dirty socks on the floor, pretend you’re plucking one of those “fragrant” flower petals and choose to say, He loves me.
Take time to think of all the ways your guy shows that he cares about you. Remember how he brings in a paycheck so you have a roof over your head. Remember what he’s really good at doing for you.
Lean into the truth.
Pray for him while you humbly and lovingly put his socks in the hamper.
Let’s give our guys some room to have imperfections, as well as some credit for their good intentions toward us.
*What is one way your man shows his love for you?
Christy Fitzwater is a writer and pastor’s wife living in Kalispell, Montana. She has a daughter who is married and a son in college. Christy writes to help people know God, and you can find her new book about becoming blameless on Amazon. Or follow her devotional blog at ChristyFitzwater. You can follow Christy on Instagram here!