My mom and I have an ongoing joke that we like to toss into conversation:
“You mean there’s more than one way to do things? Hahaha!”
It’s taken a lot of years to realize that OUR WAY ISN’T THE ONLY WAY.
Sisters-in-law teach us this.
Children teach us this.
Husbands teach us this.
You know how we have a habit of being hardest on those closest to us? This is something I’m really trying to work on. Especially this last year as my marriage has hit some pretty big bumps (more like fallen into some deep canyons), I’m learning that not only IS there more than one way to do things… I’m supposed to honor my husband’s ways.
Let me repeat that.
God asks me to HONOR my husband’s ways.
Not make jokes. Not pick at. Not criticize.
“Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10b
This week I got some practice.
My husband and our son were spending the morning together. They were loading up the trailer for a trip to the recycling center. It went well. Eddie (who is 3) was a good helper and their work paid off.
They headed to our local rural goods store to pick up some things and while there, they found the toy aisle.
Wanting to reward his son for a job well done, the 2 of them picked out a toy.
But not just any toy.
A CAT excavator. Controls allow it to move forward or backward, extend the arm, and shovel! When extended the thing is 2 feet in length. There is even a button that just plays music, which causes Edwin to break into dancing every time.
They came home smiling ear to ear.
When I realized what had transpired, the voice in my head was condescendingly yelling “What are you doing?! IT’S 2 WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS!!!!”
But by the grace of God, that is not what I said.
I smiled. I laughed with them. I praised Ed for his great morning. I relaxed and realized, it’s ok.
He loves the thing of course, and so does his Dad.
This is clearly not the way I do things. But is it really wrong? Is it really so bad? My husband had the opportunity to do something special with his boy. Not a common occurance. He takes the girls shopping once or twice a year. Why not his son? They both came out feeling great.
Zero. Harm. Done.
Per the wise counsel I’ve been getting, I could see that honoring this event was profoundly worth more than expressing my opinion.
After respecting that OTHER voice in my head – the one that said “COOL IT!” – I was given the opportunity to see how delightful this event really was.
Since I wasn’t drowning out the good with my criticism, I was shown what a fabulous thing it is to let my husband parent His way.
And I managed to honor my husband’s way above my own.
I’m glad I had this lesson as we head into Christmas. I’m hoping I can remember that my way is not the only way. So I can honor others above myself… and maybe even learn something along the way.
Do you struggle with the “crazy” ideas of others infiltrating YOUR plans? Or am I the only one? Tell me I’m not the only one! 😉