Years ago, an evangelist pastor, whom I highly regarded, shared in a marriage seminar words I have treasured ever since. “Women, the more difficult your husbands are, the more God trusts you with them. Glory to God,” speaking in his thick Jordanian accent while twisting his handlebar mustache.
Over the thirty years since, I have never forgotten those few words and often share them with various friends who are going through difficult times with their spouses. It has been a source of encouragement to all. Quite honestly, sometimes my question has been, “Why me, Lord? Why me? Did You really have to trust me this much?”
Yet, it seems in the distance I can hear my Father chuckle and simply say, “In time, you will understand.” However, in the forty-two of marriage, I am slowly acknowledging that if just a few words in this simple statement are reversed the meaning, the opposite is also true. “Husbands, no matter how difficult your woman is, know that God trusted you with her!” God gave him the same trust He gave me.
They say opposites attract. Oh so true! He is a night person, and I am usually up at daybreak. At restaurants, waiters snicker at the opposite condiments on the exact same food. Baked potatoes – him – butter only. Baked potatoes – me – loaded with everything but the kitchen sink. Try Chinese – only if you drag him kicking and screaming and yet I despise his beloved place for tacos with a passion. Then there are movies – war movies are not my thing and he hates my romantic stuff, although we do agree on most sci-fi series (a miracle to some degree.) But, the little things like that I can handle and I guess after all these years, he’s learned to tolerate my ‘weird’ taste.
The thing that drives him berserk is to be an hour down the road on vacation and hear me moan, “I don’t think I turned the iron off!” Once upon hearing my terror, he casually reached behind the seat pulling the iron out of its hiding place. It has taken several years of intense training but he finally has learned to check behind me before we leave the house! Then, there was the time we were three hours away and I suddenly realized I left my pocketbook at the fast food joint just a few miles down the road. Madly racing back down the road, we discovered no one had turned it in I was heartbroken. In it were my keys, identification, and all my mad money saved for my trip. Several hours later one of my brother-in-laws, after checking the iron of course, called to ask us did I know my pocketbook was in the living room.
Once after returning home from a doctor’s routine visit, I shared his suggestion I might need to take up a hobby to which he loudly replied, “Are you crazy, I can’t afford any more of your hobbies!” Of course, the doctor just chuckled knowingly on my return visit. At least writing on the computer doesn’t cost him anything and it keeps me somewhat busy, but I still find time for my other hobbies.
The older we get and the longer we have been married, I am coming to realize the language barrier. I speak good English but for some unknown reason he usually hears bad English. I have yet to figure this out and his response is his hearing is fine. A perfect example happened one day while working on the hose line of the washing machine. I am trying to explain that my original idea of flipping the cold and hot lines would not work because of the switches on the front of the machine. But, what does he hear – bad English! Finally, after several minutes of intense discussion we realize I am saying one thing but he has heard another. There are times I think we are going to have to get an interpreter in the near future to save our sanity.
I am without a shadow of a doubt a trial to his faith, especially when I decide I want to take care of something around the house and then need him to help finish it up. Like when the bathroom sink was draining real slow and I knew the trap needed to be cleaned. But, I didn’t get the ring quite tight enough, and then forgot to tell him to re-check it– oh well you get the picture. Or the time when we purchased a new push mower. I wanted to surprise him and have the grass mowed when he came home. After running out of gas, I needed to refill the tank. No problem, but I picked up the gas and filled away, only to discover later that I used the gas containing oil for the weed eater. So much for that mower! How could I know there is that much difference in the two? Since then he keeps all machinery filled and I have no need to touch the gas cans.
There are the times I accidentally lock the keys in the car, once requiring a thirty-mile trip one-way to rescue me. Let’s not forget the incident when, without my knowledge, a small branch became entangled in the underside of the car. Such a horrible racket and I was terrified the car was going to blow up. Once more my knight in shining armor came to my aide.
He still laughs when he thinks about my episode while reading Frank Peretti’s book “Monster”. After girls’ night out, I sat in the car reading waiting for my daughter to complete her clogging class. Unfortunately, the class ended in the middle of the scene where the kidnapped woman sees the creature’s glowing eyes in the deep dark forest. I had to drive home without knowing the outcome. Then after dropping my daughter off, and driving back home, I see one lonely deer eating across the field. Then I see another and another deer whose eyes reflect ominously in the headlights of the car on that dark moonless night. Upon arriving at the house, of course the key wouldn’t go in the door and without my knowledge, our dog Dingo has deliberately snuck up behind me and hears the glowing evil-eyed creatures across the field. Out of the dark abyss of the front yard, she tears loose in a howl of wicked proportions. Almost breaking my neck to escape the dreadful howling and the glowing eyes of the forest, I finally manage to get the key in the door, promptly jumping in managing to slam and lock the door at the same time. Imagine my husband’s surprise finding me up when he arrived home from work around midnight. Then to add insult to injury, he laughed at my earlier terrifying plight. Then to his total shock and amazement, I once more pick up the book to discover the fate of my new fictional friend. Now I ask you, I couldn’t leave her helpless at the fate of the glowing eyes for the remainder of the night, could I?
Okay, okay I guess I have to admit, I might not be the easiest person to live with. However, I know the Lord has brought us together. Has it always been easy? No way!!! We have had our bad and good, tragedy and sorrow, but without a doubt the Lord has strengthen us and uses us to erode many rough edges in our spirit. Yes, guess my pastor friend knew what he was talking about so very long ago. The Lord did trust us a lot to give us to each other!