I Hate When You Do That
By Lisa Lakey
“I hate when you do that,” he uttered after I jokingly smacked his arm.
By his tone, he could have been talking about the weather, my choice of paint color, or even the waffle he had for breakfast. But his words were clear, direct, and to the point. He was referring to me.
For some strange reason, his words hurt.
Didn’t he think everything I did was adorable? Apparently not.
We hadn’t been married long, and I was sure we were still supposed to be in the honeymoon phase. Apparently that ship had sailed.
But not two weeks later, we were snuggling on the couch (honeymooners do that, right?) and my dear husband started cracking his knuckles. Ugh. Nails on a chalkboard.
Before I could stop myself, I said, “I hate when you do that!”
He didn’t take offense the way I did (no shock there). But looking back, there was an important lesson about marriage in those knuckles: Your spouse will not adore everything about you. And vice versa.
At some point, a bad habit or some quirky personality trait comes out that you do not adore. Maybe they clip their toenails in bed (no, you cannot divorce them over this) or they never place the laundry in the hamper. Or they make a weird whistling sound when they sleep.
But guess what? You’ve got some quirky and maybe even annoying things about yourself, too. And you probably hope your spouse overlooks those to see the great catch you are.
So next time you feel your skin crawling (and maybe even your temper rising) over something that just isn’t a big deal, look past the quirks to see what’s really great about your spouse instead. Like, at least they made it within a foot of the hamper.
The good stuff: Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. (Micah 7:18)
Action points: What’s one thing that bugs you about your spouse? What’s one way to look past it to the person you fell in love with? For example, my knuckle-cracking husband has the two hardest-working hands I know.
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