I hate millipedes. You know those multi-limbed, elongated, speedy vermin that invade my bathroom every summer. Does anyone even know what they are? And why do they have so many legs? Approximately once every week, one of the little monsters (or sometimes the giant, man-eating variety) invade my personal space. Usually at a very inconvenient time, such as getting out of the shower or when I’ve drank one too many iced teas. And worse, if left to my own devices too long, I can imagine them lurking, like a predator in the night, ready to launch an attack. Indiana Jones didn’t even like them and he fought ancient curses, evil treasure-seekers and pits full of snakes! They are gross and creepy. And I don’t appreciate them in MY bathroom.
Now before PETA members get up in arms, I do love animals. All kinds of animals. I believe our Lord created these wonderful creatures for individual, specific purposes. And while I am not fond of some of them (snakes, mice and bugs particularly), I do know that we must share our planet with them according to God’s design. And I’m willing to do that; but not my part of the planet.
So begins the story of how I came to decide that I have to change my thought process with regard to my husband. During the summer of 2009, while in-between school semesters, he took a job working at the county fair taking ticket and parking money, a very hot job for August in Missouri.
Because he has been on “hiatus” from work this summer, we have a mutual agreement that he will do the majority of the “stuff” around the house. Cleaning, laundry, and dinner plus a few special honey-do projects. By mutual agreement, of course I mean, I nag him until he has to do the stuff or face corporal punishment. I’m not sure what I expected. It took him all of two years to hang four pictures for me. I guess maybe I had hoped that my speech at the beginning of the summer entitled “if I’m working and you’re not, you will NOT sit on your hiney” would actually get through to him this time. I give these speeches more for my benefit, rather than his. But alas, he is the same man as he was the day I married him. Laid back, easy going, I’ll-do-it-when-I-get-to-it-personality. While my tightly-wound, running 100 miles an hour mind, wishing-I-could-get-away-with-murder-personality struggles to find a happy medium.
The bible says we must honor our spouses. So with that thinking firmly in place, I purchased a Sonic drink and drove to the fair ground, unannounced. It’s around 90 degrees and very hot. He is surprised and appreciative of the unexpected treat. Imagine my surprise when he said it didn’t taste good, and gave it back. Surprised, but it did taste rather sweet, and the thought was there. Later that evening, as I had done all week, I washed his very fragrant fair t-shirt because for the position, his one t-shirt had to be washed daily. Still in the spirit of honoring my spouse, I was happy to assist. Ok, maybe happy is a bit of a stretch, but I did wash his clothes.
And this is where it all went wrong. While gathering up the laundry from my bathroom, there it was. The evil, menacing millipede. Staring up at me in a very threatening manner. As would any person react with their lives at risk, I screamed. Like a bad horror movie, I screamed to my hubby (whom I thought would come running to not only save but honor me as well) to come and kill the vermin. And he, in his 18 years of wedded bliss and genius, chose to ignore my request.
I was shocked. Dismayed. Hurt. Angry. Isn’t it the duty of the husband to kill bugs and open jars? Isn’t there a guy code for this type of thing? Didn’t we take a vow of something similar to this? Why would he not automatically kill the monster? This simple, menial task to too big for him? I cannot believe it.
My instant reaction is anger. Here, I’d been a good wife. Went above and beyond for my husband. And I don’t even warrant him killing a bug for me? And I told him such. I let him have it. He heard my wrath for 20 minutes. When I finally turned over, very coldly, to go to sleep, I was satisfied that I’d gotten my point across.
But as I lay there thinking of the evening, my thoughts drifted to his personality. His behavior was really not unusual for his personality. He’s not that hero type, and never has been. So why, after 18 years of predictable behavior, would I think he would change? So it’s really my issue, not his.
I mean, God created us both with very unique personalities. And better yet, he put us together in a marriage because His wisdom is much better than ours. He designed this life for us to serve a purpose. And while we don’t necessarily know why, I am confident in His wisdom.
We were not placed in our current situation by mistake, coincidence or for our own entertainment. We are placed in our current situations to glorify God, in everything we do. So if that means fighting that controlling personality, honoring your non-bug killing husband, or tolerating the 100th argument that your children are having over doing the dishes. And if we glorify God in all we do, the rest will fall into place, almost as if it was meant to!
So while I don’t understand or agree with the presentation of it all, I know that I’m where I need to be. Now that didn’t stop me from putting dirty fingerprints all over his sunglasses at 7 am the next morning, but I am not angry anymore. (I’m still working on the honor part!).