When He Doesn't Eat the Lunch You Made Him: Loving Your Husband Through The Good, and Yes, Even Irksome Times!
When He Doesn't Eat the Lunch You Made Him: Continuing to Love
Today, my husband of 3 years did not eat the lunch I made him, that he requested for me to make him yesterday afternoon. Here's what happened. He texted me yesterday. I was at home sick, with a sick toddler. He had gone to church without me and had run the info booth at church while our friends who normally run it were away at a youth event. He asked me, "Will you make my lunch for tomorrow?"
So last night, after cooking dinner and hanging out with our son and my hubby for a few hours, I was tired. The kitchen, which was spotless earlier that day, was somehow a mess again. Sink full of dirty dishes. I found myself sneezing more frequently. My cold was getting worse, despite all my homeopathic remedies. That's when I remembered his request: the lunch.
So I stayed up extra late (till 10pm) to make his lunch. Pastrami and provolone sandwich, an apple, some Frito's chips, a dark chocolate, gluten-free cereal bar (from my gluten-free attempt a few months ago) and some banana muffins for breakfast. I even wrote him a sweet note to remind him not to forget his lunch and to thank him for getting up early and working for us.
Then what happens? He calls to tell me that his schedule has changed and he is meeting up with a couple of friends for lunch. "What about the lunch I made for you?" I ask. "Oh, I'll just eat it tomorrow," he says. Well, I know full well that the sandwich will be soggy and inedible by tomorrow. So does he. This sends me into a very angry place, as I ponder how he could possibly be so inconsiderate as to make plans with friends for lunch, knowing full well that I stayed up late to pack him a special lunch! He must not care about me! Yes, I decide he doesn't give a rip about me or my feelings at all!
Points to Consider
- Is this a "hill to die on"? In other words, is this argument really worth having, or getting that upset over?
- Am I thinking of my husband's feelings, or just my own feelings? Am I being selfish?
- Jesus died for me. He paid the penalty for my sin. Can I let this one offense go, and trust that God will take care of me? Can I extend grace to my husband right now, even though it's hard?
Choosing to Love and Give Grace
Something I'm learning in my marriage is that we can always choose love. It does have to be a conscious choice sometimes, and it isn't always easy. Was the lunch thing as big of a deal as I made it? Probably not. Did it seem like a big deal to me at the time? Yes. After a few minutes though, I came to the realization that it wasn't worth fighting over. My husband works hard. He gets up very early most days. I realized I didn't need to add to his stress level with my bad attitude. He came home to do some computer work for a few minutes, and I was able to get the sandwich from him and save the rest of his lunch in the fridge. I decided I could eat the sandwich, and make him another one for the next day. When I talked to him in love and grace, instead of using fighting words, we were able to work things out. I told him I was sorry for getting upset. He said he was sorry for not eating the lunch. In his mind, it was not a big deal. He did not mean to hurt my feelings. And that's what we have to focus on with our spouses, giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming that if he did hurt your feelings or upset you, he didn't mean to. As a Christian, I believe Jesus died for me. He took all my sins upon Himself on the cross. He didn't die for me because I was deserving. Actually, quite the opposite. He died for me because I am so unworthy, unholy, sinful, and so deserving of hell and separation from God that He chose to take my place. Not because I deserve it, but because HE LOVES ME. So we too, should do the same thing for our spouses, honoring and cherishing them, whether we feel they are worthy in that moment or not. So next time he does not do the dishes or the laundry, next time he does not pick up after himself, next time he doesn't eat the lunch you packed him-- look to Jesus for strength to show love and grace in that moment. Because Jesus gives love and grace freely, and we should, too. When we do, our relationship will always work out better, and there will be more peace, more harmony and more love in our families and homes.