“What’s for dinner?” my husband asked.
“Nothing. Just, nothing!” I sputtered out with a bit of impatience and frustration.
My husband broke into a fit of laughter on the other end of the phone. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
So I asked him in a serious and exasperated tone, “When would I have had time to think about dinner today?” As soon as I finished that question I proceeded to break into my own fit of laughter recognizing the humor in it all.
You see, we were leaving for vacation the very next morning. I had been gone most of the day. Who needs dinner?! We had bags to be packed, loose ends to tie up and a house to be put in order so we wouldn’t return to a mess. I was tired and my mind was focused on the overwhelming task at hand.
As I think about that happening just a few days ago I can’t help but smile and be thankful for my marriage: a marriage that can be honest, gracious, understanding, and yes… humorous. THAT is how marriage should work.
Here are two elements from that comical discourse between my husband and I, if applied, we could all benefit from in marriage:
1. Give your spouse grace. In Ephesians 4:2, the Apostle Paul writes, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Honestly we are all walking a daily battle against to-do lists and responsibilities that pull us this way and that. Having grace with our spouse is seeing our spouse how Jesus sees them, and us. We are all imperfect, yet He loves us more than we could ever imagine. With undeserving love, He moved toward us in humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness. Give your spouse the same kind of love.
2. Have a sense of humor. Okay really… sometimes you just have to laugh. Take.a.breath. I really could have gone either way when my husband asked me what was for dinner. Tears were just around the corner. But because he lost it in a fit of laughter, it lightened the whole mood and helped bring down the walls I almost put up as I was trying to defend myself. Humor enables you to minimize what is really insignificant. In other words, take a breath and don’t take everything so serious!
It’s amazing to me how many conflicts could be easily resolved if we just step back and give one another the gift of love and laughter. Your spouse is not your enemy. In Christ, you have been joined together to live with and for one another. Be generous. Give often. Your spouse is worth the gift of love and laughter!
Ruth Schwenk, The Better Mom