I was at a summer party at friend’s home several years ago and a group of us were sitting out on their screened in deck. One of the ladies tripped on the threshold as she walked through the doorway to join us. She looked at the host and told him that he really needed to get that fixed. His response? With a big smile on his face he said loudly, “I LOVE my wife!!” There were looks of confusion so he continued, “She has walked through that same doorway hundreds of times and has never once complained. She is so low maintenance, I love her!”
The comment has obviously stuck with me and has caused me to stop and think several times in my life… am I low maintenance? Uhh…sometimes? I have to say, I am waaaay lower maintenance than I started out 14 years ago and that has to count for something, right?
Are you low maintenance? Now, I’m not talking about how long it takes to do your hair and make-up or if you have high fashion standards. That is not my concern today. Are you easy to live with? Is life with you a pleasure or a pain?
These questions may help: Do you fly off the handle if a negative comment is made? Do you wait for compliments and then feel hurt if they do not come? Are you constantly feeling as if your expectations are not met? Do you find yourself unhappy more often than happy? Are home improvements too often your topic of conversation? Does your husband accuse you of nagging? Do you have a “to do list” for your husband that is never done?
Now don’t think that you should never make a list for your husband, talk about home improvements or ask him to pick up his laundry (my goodness, what would we talk about?). But if you are always needy or have a constant stream of demands coming from your mouth, there is an issue (and a weary husband). If your husband thinks you are never satisfied with him, he will feel like a failure. How will he tend to react when your mouth begins to open? Cringe, avoidance and defensiveness.
The Bible does not ignore this topic. Solomon speaks to it in Proverbs, and Solomon should know. He had hundreds of wives (this was terrible disobedience on his part and led in part to the deterioration of Israel through idol worship and the splitting of the kingdom. Not cool, Solomon). However check out what he gleaned from his many years of experience:
“…a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.” – Proverbs 19:13
“A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike.” – Proverbs 27:15
Ouch. If those hurt check out this one:
“It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.” – Proverbs 21:9
A never-satisfied wife who is eager to argue makes life miserable. It would be better for a man to live on the roof and be exposed to the elements rather than be exposed to his wife’s tongue in a comfortable home. I do not want to be the woman described in those verses!
Aside from how it makes our husbands feel, this type of behavior dishonors God and is unbecoming of his daughters. We cannot serve our husbands and encourage them to be godly men by beating them with our tongues.
So, if you were like me when I first got married and keeping your mouth shut at the littlest infraction does not come easy, you need to do some intentional work towards becoming low maintenance (i.e. a gracious and kind wife that is a joy to live with).
Pray and ask God to work in your heart. Realize if you are being too demanding and ask God to change your attitude and perceptions. Talk to your husband and ask for forgiveness if you need to. Tell him you will be trying your best to not pelt him with demands and requests. Kindly make your desires known (men are still not mind readers) but refuse to nag or be pushy.
The key word to remember here is GRACE! Be like Jesus and give it freely. “And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16. Give your husband loads of it and kindly ask for it in return when you know you have messed up. Jesus is your source, so be in the Word daily.
For all you newbies out there, take comfort - it does get easier! As time passes, you begin to realize what is worth bringing up and what just really doesn’t matter in the eternal scheme of things. Always take the long view of life, gaze into eternity. Dirty clothes on the floor will not matter one iota when we meet Jesus - I certainly don’t plan to bring it up to him that day.
Ladies, let’s refuse to be drips any longer and instead be a pipeline of God’s awesome grace. Cause your husband to praise God for you!