In chemistry there are some chemicals that, when mixed together, create a strong but important reaction. Baking soda and vinegar will bubble when mixed together but they clean quite nicely! Not being a chemist, I am unsure of other mixtures but I know they exist. What I find interesting about this is that chemists will mix two chemicals together simply to get the reaction for a specific purpose. Is that not what marriage is like?
Take my parents for example: they are complete opposites. My mother is charming, sweet, gentle, extremely and sometimes delusionally optimistic, and can love almost any sinner despite their sin. My Dad, on the other hand, is somewhat abrasive yet honest, intellectual and analytical, silently loving, and a pessimistic realist. For years they argued, yelled, banged doors and cupboards, and threats of leaving were made while children hid in their rooms hoping they were just threats. But both of them grew like perfectly fertilized plants and now they are a happy couple. Mom said the other day, “I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t happy with your dad.” (Granted, she is sometimes delusionally optimistic, so maybe that is it.)
Sometime me and my husband, Presten, will get into big arguments. It is usually about something important because we talk out the little stuff without a fuss. But when it comes to the big stuff both of us are so sure we are right that the only way to solve it is to yell and fight it out. Eventually, the wrong one will see the err of their ways and admit so to the right one. But sometimes these arguments take months or even years. I am convinced, though, – despite all of our arguments and frustrations – that Presten is without a single doubt in my mind the most perfect man for me; not perfect completely in himself, mind you, but perfect for me. Sure he leaves his clothes lying around sometimes, he rarely cleans up his beard shavings, and I have to nag him to clean the toilet sometimes. He several flaws but am I not flawed myself? I curse and yell when barely angry. I take my shoes off and leave them where they lie. I almost never make the bed. I love cleaning, but often lack the motivation to start so sometimes the house is a complete mess. Does he complain? Does he yell at me or fuss at me? Does he ever say I am a lousy wife?? Nope. In fact, the only thing he has ever done is say gently, “Honey, I would really appreciate it if you would do some laundry. I wore my last pair of underwear today.”
So I shouldn’t complain, because he doesn’t complain. The worst thing, though, is the inability to make him see my way. That may sound funny and make you laugh, but let me explain. There have been times that I have Bible verses and/or scientific research, and interviews with people who know and have experience, but he is arguing because “it makes sense to me”, or some other nonsensical reasoning. Yet he will not admit that maybe, just maybe, he is wrong. And sometimes these arguments, despite my good foundation, take days, months, or years to convince him and it is so very frustrating to both of us. But eventually he does come around and when he does he admits that he was being bull-headed and had no foundation for his standing. I guess the whole problem is that I can change cold turkey — just drop my old ways and pick up new ones like that. I learned it from my mom. But Presten needs time to adjust to the idea of change, then time to adjust to the beginning of change, then he will start to change and be unsure and hold off. But when he decides he needs to change, he does change and permanently. So I guess I should be grateful that, unlike many husbands that I have heard about, he does change. He has learned to put his pocket things in a bowl when he gets home, to help clean up the table either after dinner or at least before bed, and to cuddle me at night before we go to sleep. He never smokes, doesn’t desire drugs or alcohol, has never hit me or abused me, understands when I say “not tonight honey” and is always as loving as he can be. He’s a good guy, even if he is bull-headed.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want a male version of a “yes wife”. When he has a sound foundation with Bible verses and/or research etc I listen, I change, I may argue a little… but I do change. I just don’t like it when he stands on a faulty foundation, that’s all. Don’t stand there and tell me you are right if you have nothing to back it. You cannot tell me I have to change my beliefs when your beliefs have no basis! It is foolishness!
So I will pray for him that when he has no foundation he will see it. But I will also pray for myself that, even when I am right, I will have patience and love and not yell, argue or be mean. I will patiently love him and pray for his change. If God can “turn the heart” of people in the Bible, he sure can change my husband. And if Jesus can maintain his temper and be loving toward the Pharisees then I can be loving toward the wonderful man that is my husband, even when he is bull-headed.
Not acting very super today. 😮