Babe, You Did What?!
In the Thompson household, we pretty much have our responsibilities down to a science and everyone is clear about our designated tasks. For instance, LT does the cooking, I clean the kitchen and the girls clean the table. Thankfully, LT does all the grocery shopping, which includes shopping for other necessities like laundry detergent, toothpaste, paper towels and tissue. For convenience's sake, we keep a shared grocery list on our phones and we both update it as necessary. But, there are items that are "TC related" and rather than add them to the joint list, I prefer to get them separately. My list may include speciality items, like counter spray, air fresheners, floor cleaners, etc. Because I am the one that uses them most, I prefer to pick them out. It's our system and it works for us...most of the time.
Recently, we were awaiting a package delivery. Imagine my surprise when I received the notification that the package that would be delivered that afternoon, also included SOS Steel Wool Pads. My first thought was that maybe LT erroneously added them to the shopping cart when he made the other purchase. But when he confirmed that he had, in fact, meant to buy them, I was a bit puzzled. Although I knew that I had ran out of SOS pads a week or two prior, I knew I hadn't added them to our joint shopping list. So I was a bit perturbed knowing they would be delivered to our house (with less pads and for double the price of what I would have paid in the store)!
I know what you are thinking: Oh how sweet. LT knew TC needed the SOS Pads so he bought them. He's such a sweetheart. Insert buzzer noise here because if you thought I was thinking that, you were definitely wrong and clearly thinking more rationally than I! And don't judge me, either! Wives, you know you've gotten irritated with your husband for far less than SOS Pads! And husbands, you know you've done the same! So, stop fronting and don't throw stones! ha ha
My initial thought was not that he was trying to help me. Instead, I thought LT overstepped his boundaries. Cleaning the pots and pans is on my task list, not his! I knew I needed SOS pads and I purposely hadn't put them on his list because I figured I would buy them along with the other cleaning products I needed to pick up. Now, granted, we have expensive, stainless steel pots and pans and when you don't give them a good scrub, they tend to leave a hazy residue that looks unappealing. I do take pride in our cookware, yet I had reason for waiting to get the pads. The hazy residue wasn't that big of a deal because I knew I was going to get rid of it. WHEN I DECIDED TO GET THE PRODUCTS I NEEDED TO GET IT DONE!!
Questioning LT about the pads didn't make it any better because when I asked him why he bought these [very expensive] SOS pads, he treaded lightly and chose his words wisely, but, basically, eluded to the hazy residue I mentioned before. Although he did good by being sensitive to my feelings while he spoke, I wasn't too impressed with him because from his statement, all I "heard" was,
"I ordered the SOS pads because you obviously needed them since you weren't cleaning the pots and pans thoroughly. You're welcome."
Hush, Friend! I know that's not what he said. But at that moment, that's what I chose to hear. I was H-E-A-T-E-D and I had all day to figure out how I would "handle" Mr. Thompson once he arrived later that evening.
My first inclination was to go online and order a HUGE bottle of Armor All for the cars, which he superbly takes care of by washing them weekly. If he asked me why I did it, I would explain that the tires were looking a little ashy and I thought he could use the spray. (I'm laughing as I type this, but I did not laugh as I was putting my diabolical plan together.) But I digressed from that plan, because it was overly petty and would only serve as a costly revenge tactic. Thank God for, at least, having the wisdom to know better than to go with that plan.
So, then I thought about not actually ordering the Armor All but instead asking LT how he would have felt if I had. I let that plan go because knowing how practical and patient LT is with me, he probably would have made me think about my actions in a different light by asking a bunch of open ended questions or said something rational that would prove far more sensible than my irrational anger.
After about ten minutes of trying to come up with the "perfect" scheme that would make LT see the errs of his ways, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the words that I've heard our pastor and First Lady give us in Heirs Together, our church's ministry for married couple:
"ALWAYS THINK THE BEST OF YOUR SPOUSE."
I laughed when I heard these simple words echoing loudly because they stopped me in my tracks. What was I doing? What had I expected to accomplish with my silly plans? I guess it was good to have gone through the planning stages because I could see how they ended and it wasn't productive or fruitful.
Dang it! The Holy Spirit brought those words to me and I was convicted. I knew I wouldn't "do" anything.
Although there was no way that I could deny that I felt undermined and I was upset. Perhaps, maybe, if LT had brought his concerns to me first, it would have helped. But he hadn't and now I had SOS pads reminding me of my inability to wash dishes thoroughly.
"Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life."
~Ephesians 4:26-27 (MSG)
I've been with my husband long enough to know that he never wants to cause me pain, agony or anguish. And above all, he is not malicious or demanding. At all. So, he would never buy SOS pads for me as a way of sending me such a hurtful message. I knew these things wholeheartedly. So now it was up to me to check myself.
In that moment, I chose to change my stinkin' thinkin', to think better of my husband. He knew I needed SOS pads. He saved himself, and me, a trip to the store. He knows I take pride in taking care of our things. He brought the SOS pads to help me do this. Nothing more. Nothing less. No hidden motives. No boundary oversteppings. Just a man loving on his wife. Period.
After dinner that evening, I cleaned the kitchen in my normal fashion, including the scrubbing of the pots and pans. And when I was finished, I thanked LT for cooking another delicious meal. I also thanked him for buying the SOS pads because they were much needed. In his normal fashion, he thanked me for cleaning the kitchen. And that was it.
And guess what? We had another perfect evening together. No unforgiveness. No attitudes. No unspoken tension in the air. He never knew I disgruntled over the SOS pads (although he knows now. 😉) And until I wrote this WHOAment, I really hadn't thought much more about the infamous SOS pads, other than the fact that they've come in handy.
The point of this Wedded WHOAment is to remind us to always choose to think the best of our spouse. There may be times when it seems they are doing things to purposely "get under our skin", or that they "should know better". But choose to not hold on to anger. Instead, think better of them.
God does that to us, so who are we not to extend the same grace to our spouse?
If you enjoyed reading this WHOAment, you may also like "We're Saying the Same Thing!"
I enjoy hearing from you. So, let's chat!
*What household task does your spouse handle, for which you are grateful?
*What daily household task has to be done before you can go to bed?
*Describe a situation when you could have chosen to see the best in your spouse.
*Are you harboring unforgiveness towards your spouse? Perhaps it can be resolved by thinking the best of them and seeing things from their perspective.