Less is More

“What is wrong? Seems like you’re annoyed about something,” he said in a sharp tone.

In fairness, I had just answered a question he asked with my own sharpness.

But I was so mad that he asked me THAT question in THAT way at THAT time.

I was washing dishes from dinner. Dinner that I prepared with food I had grocery shopped for in between other responsibilities.

In my mind, he had been whisked away that morning by jet to Atlanta for a meeting at a very cool place with some very interesting people that shared inspiring stories. He wore a nice outfit and even had new shoes. He was completely unavailable the entire day. I’ve grown used to it in some ways. He’s got a big job. It’s important and what God has called him to do. I am thankful for that.

But his sharpness of tone with me and my sharpness of tone with him did not make for an enjoyable evening.

He could very well think—she has no idea what I do all day and the pressures I encounter, the fires I put out, the hundreds of emails I receive, the meetings and phone calls.

I could very well think, and did think—He has no idea what I’ve done today. The early morning traffic to get Mack to school and me back home. The interrupted quiet time. The Homecoming Parade I went to school to see for Molly, the grocery store run for the weekend, the unloading and putting away of all the groceries, scarfing down lunch at 1:45. The school pick up for Mack, more traffic. The kids arguing. The child who decided to try on a dress for Homecoming the day before only to need plan B. The cooking of dinner. The cleaning of dinner. The mind-numbing and quite-boring-at-times work of a mom. Wishing for a nap because I just can’t seem to get to feeling 100% these days. And he’s asking me, “What’s wrong?” Ugh.

At this moment in our marriage, I wish one of us would have been the gracious mature one. One of us could have been the one that took a deep breath and tried really hard to humbly quit thinking of ourself and intentionally put ourself in the other person’s shoes. I should have calmly answered the question he asked, giving my input with care and concern instead of annoyance.

He could have offered to do the dishes or said he wanted to talk to just me about our days after we cleaned the kitchen together. He could have observed an annoyed wife and just overlooked my response and found a way to help me in what I was doing.

Dying to self. It’s the heart of living for God. It’s what Jesus did for me and for Josh, yet we can be so easily offended. So easily annoyed when we aren’t treated a certain way. So slow to consider the other person before ourself.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s always another chance to let go of my own “rights” and concerns and elevate Josh and his concerns. John 3:30 says, “He [Jesus] must become greater; I must become less.” That’s some great marriage advice. I pray I’ll live it out today!

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