Sometimes I wish the fifty four year old me could have had a talk with the younger, more attractive know it all me at the age of 20. Back then I looked at my husband [I married at eighteen] and wondered what planet he arrived from.
It wasn’t his fault really. I was raised in a single parent all girl family. I was taught how to fix my hair, paint my nails and that duct tape fixed everything from leaky pipes to runs in your stockings. It was a time of women’s liberation and ‘you’ve come a long way baby’.
There I was in our first newlywed home. For some reason unknown to me, I thought I was supposed to make everything home made for supper. When everyone else dreamed of careers with high heels and pant suits, I wanted to be a home maker. . The results were horrible. I still remember Shermy throwing my first bread dough on the floor and watching it bounce. Then, he named supper ‘mystery meat’.
I was determined though and through trials [mostly his] and error [that would be me] I learned to cook. In fact, I learned to enjoy it. Still though, I was naïve to many things.
When Shermy came home I went into ‘nag’ mode. My honey do list was ready and my entire day was summed up as he removed his coat and sat down for supper. This went on for a while and achieved only a grunt and ‘Will you just feed me?’.
The chair didn’t get fixed and the washer rattled. I was furious and so we grumbled each night until I took this to the Lord. ‘You have to fix HIM! He won’t do anything!’
One night my husband came home later than usual. Supper was on the stove and I was sipping a cup of tea. The Lord must have opened my eyes because for once I shut my mouth.
Shermy was tired. In fact, he was dragging himself to just climb the stairs to the door. I took his jacket and he sat down at the table. I decided not to pester him with anything. He ate his dinner and then wandered into the living room and stretched out on the sofa and fell asleep. I put an afghan over him and left him there.
Before I started the supper dishes, I sat down quietly with my bible. ’ I had been raised going to church and I opened my bible.
Here is what I found. Proverbs 27:15-16 ‘A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.’NIV. I thought about the bathroom faucet that dripped all night the night before. ‘Is that how he sees me?’
As I washed the dishes I thought of my friends from school who spoke about equal rights for women. They vowed they wouldn’t pick up after any man. They were going to be career women and being a second mother to some guy was out of the question. I simply didn’t feel that way as I looked in on Shermy stretched out on the sofa. This guy worked hard so I could stay home. We had a baby and didn’t want it raised by anyone other than us.
That night, my husband woke up about an hour later. He showered and came out in the kitchen as I was putting the dishes away. Strong arms went around my waist and he kissed my neck. ‘Do you need anything done?’ he asked.
I smiled into the dishwater. ‘I just wanted to let you know about the things I do not know how to fix. No need to fix them now though.’
The best part of this is, Shermy never forgets anything I ask. He trys his best to fix things. It’s because I learned how and when to ask. Plus, I learned to say thank you in a thousand ways.
Here’s one of the first lessons I learned about men. Never ask them to do anything if they are tired or hungry. For some reason, it just doesn’t work. Now, I could have stood and said ‘Well, what about me?’
I’m no saint, I just didn’t think that way. God gave me eyes to see Shermy in a different light. Shermy and I grew up together in this marriage of almost 37 years. We bounced around and totally goofed up. But, God kept his hand on us. The fascinating thing that God created was two hearts that wanted the best for the other.