Time for a little honesty . . .
Most homemade wheat bread is better for building a privacy wall in the back yard than for eating.
. . . but, not Lisa’s.
Her wheat bread keeps us all clamoring like refugees.
Now, if this is starting to sound like a “good husband praising his wife” story, hang in there because the “good husband part” is basically absent.
A long time ago, Lisa determined to make the Best Wheat Bread on Planet Earth.
Frankly, she succeeded.
But here’s the scene: Lisa has just made bread. The entire house is filled with that amazing aroma that reaches up your nostrils and caresses your brain teasing over and over again . . . come get me! I could eat a whole loaf. (Is that wrong?)
Anyway, prior to making bread, Lisa wrote and published two articles. After making bread she orchestrated a house cleaning party involving the youngest to the oldest. She, herself, was vacuuming and packing around the various random things every mom picks up and puts away about 4 million times a day.
And then, guess who shows up . . . ?
What Did Matthew say when he walked in the door?
Check One Answer:
__ Hey Beautiful, the house looks fantastic, but not as fantastic as you!
__ Fresh bread, again? I AM THE MOST LOVED MAN ON EARTH!
__ You seem really tired. You’ve been working hard all day. Here, let me do that.
__ Thank you so much for all you do! I’m One Blessed Man!
__ So, what’s for dinner? (No greeting, vacant, innocent – somewhat stupid stare toward the kitchen)
Yeah, you guessed it. You’re very perceptive. The last option.
And that hurt her, offended her, deflated her, and took a lot of the joy out of offering her family the work of her hands in the kitchen.
She’s not alone.
Recently, a wife confided to her that she rarely goes into the kitchen any more because she knows she will never be good enough.
Ever feel like that? About the kitchen? About anything? About everything?
Why do we do that? Why do we overlook the great qualities, love offerings, sacrifices, and faithfulness of those everyday, wonderful things our spouse does?
Oh, and just because I’m the bad guy in this story doesn’t mean this doesn’t cut both ways. Men may sometimes be less vocal but we can feel just as passed over as women.
I would encourage every offended spouse to do what Lisa did.
At first, I didn’t see the issue – thought she was being too touchy, looking for offense where there was none. After all, what could be more natural than wondering what’s for dinner? Right?
You can build a privacy fence with just about anything . . . even with the best wheat bread on earth.
But, as she walked me through, from her perspective, (keeping her cool even while stating she had been hurt) gradually (not immediately) I saw that while I intended no harm, I had communicated a total lack of regard and zero appreciation for all she had offered that day.
Was this some story pulled from the archives of our first year of marriage? No, it was yesterday evening – and we both would say we have a great marriage! Even so, here we were, needing to “work it out.”
We did, and I’ve since enjoyed some warm bread slathered in butter along with the warm embrace of a giving and forgiving spouse.
In marriage, warm embraces are better than whole-wheat privacy fences . . . or any other kind, for that matter.
Ask God to help you change and then purpose to give thoughtful notice of those many gifts and offerings that make up the normal, rich days of married life.
You won’t regret it.
Matthew Jacobson has been in the book publishing industry for 22 years and is currently the president of Loyal Arts Literary Agency. For the last 10 years, he’s served as a teaching elder in his local Church. Matthew and his beautiful bride of 21 years, Lisa, raise their 8 children in the Pacific NW. You can join him at his blog by clicking here: MatthewLJacobson.com or find Matthew on facebook.