“But Daddy, I love him!”
Few young girls can forget that infamous line from The Little Mermaid. Yes, today I wonder why I watched a movie about a scantily clad mermaid, but when you’re three years old you don’t think about such things. One of the things I do remember about that movie, and others like it, was older women warning me that it wasn’t smart to disobey your father, marry someone you barely know, and especially to marry someone with serious flaws. The line comes back to me now because, once you’re married, your supposed to do your best to overlook your spouses flaws. So many times, we wives do just the opposite. We nag, nag, nag, and find faults in everything. Instead, we should be like Ariel, willing to give up everything she knew and loved for the man she loved.
My man is the sweetest man on the planet, but Mr. Right is not Mr. Perfect. My Andy is not perfect, but boy do I love that man! It is my goal to give up everything I have and want for him. My passion is to find out what pleases him and do it. Yet, my own selfish flesh gets in the way far too often.
I think of a common disagreement between husbands and wives: that of the toilet seat. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Growing up in a family of five women, and with a father who never left the toilet seat up, it was a shock to me to find out that my husband is used to leaving it up. I had always thought that the polite man put the seat down for women. It was just the way things were done. In Andy’s house, however, just the opposite happened. The boys were never expected to put the seat down. Thankfully, we discovered this difference before we got married (one of the benefits of a long engagement!).
One day Andy asked me why men were expected to put the seat down for women when women weren’t expected to put the seat up for men. I could have argued that men are supposed to be gentlemen, or that the bottom of the toilet seat is very unattractive, or that I might fall in at night when I go to the bathroom and don’t turn on the light. However, I realized that I was defeating my purpose of serving my husband wholeheartedly. He was so right! Who made up the rule that men have to put the seat down? Yes, it would be nice, but why do we make it a marital issue!
And then I began to think of all the other things that are just man-made rules that we fight over. Tonight my man told me that he didn’t really like cucumbers, tomatoes, or bell peppers in his salad. I was shocked…what was a salad without the veggies?! And where was all the nutrition?! And then he told me that he did like mushrooms in his salad…and carrots and red cabbage. Well, all of those are good for you too! Why fight over a man-made rule about what has to be in salad? Why not find out what pleases your husband and do it. So often, the things we fight over are very insignificant in light of the bigger picture.
Sometimes I’m tempted to look at the way Andy’s family does something to figure out what I should be doing for Andy. However, I am reminded that this is not Andy’s family and it is not my family…it is our new family. It is my job to find out what pleases my husband and do it…not what pleases his mom or dad.
My man now does his best to put the seat down, but when he doesn’t I don’t say anything. I just smile. I’ve fallen in only once, but I too am learning…to look before sitting. 🙂 As wives, lets start analyzing the things we disagree over and ask ourselves if it is truly important. For the single gals, you can start practicing now by doing your best to get along with your family and not argue about things that don’t matter.
May I never stop trying to please the man that God has blessed me with. After all, in the big scheme of things, toilet seats don’t really matter.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” ~Romans 12:18~