It was the end of the day and I was sitting on the couch and I was tired. My wife and I had just completed the hostage negotiation process that is bedtime and there was quiet in the house. I had decided to fritter away a few precious moments on the couch watching a hockey documentary. Nothing earth-shattering, just a simple slice of Americana. My wife came and sat down across from me at the end of the couch. She had hardly seen me all day and wanted to tell me about something that happened.
Now I have been married long enough to know that this is where I pause the documentary and listen to her; however, I am still naive enough not to realize the difference between the spirit and the letter of the law. I followed the letter of the law with precision. Right on cue without missing a beat. One problem, my eyes betrayed my lack of interest in what she was telling me. My wife knows me too well to be fooled by a lackluster performance when I am feigning interest.
My wife asked me if I did not want to talk right now. I answered in the affirmative. Not rudely, but honestly. The hurt was the same. I had chosen a subpar documentary on a sport that I do not even follow to take precedence over time spent with my life partner who had not seen me all day. This is where a lot of people would tell me I messed up and maybe I did, but my wife has always known that no matter how uncomfortable if she asks me a straight question, I give her a straight answer. The problem was not my honesty, the problem was my lack of interest in her at that moment.
Life goes by in a blink. Children, school, work, church; it is an endless list or lists of things that need to be done. In all of this, it can be easy to make our spouse come last. It all feels important, it all feels necessary and so we justify passing our spouse like passing a stranger on the street.
This has been the challenge lately. Between my work and my wife’s degree, it has been easy to get used to doing our own thing; so much so that one night as I watched a documentary on hockey, I behaved in a way that hurt my wife. A spiritual correlation can be drawn here as well. We can get so caught up in doing good things that we miss the main thing. We can serve Christ to the detriment of our relationship with Him.
That night I had helped with the house, helped bathe the kids, and put them to bed. I had helped with the dishes and the cleanup that comes with the upkeep of a home, but in all of that, I missed the most important thing, my relationship with my wife. A clean home, clean bodies, and getting tucked in is not going to give my children a safe and stable home; however, a dad and mom who invest in their relationship with Christ and then in their relationship with each other will create an unshakeable rock that our children can know is safe.