Stage-Couple has just gotten into the truck to go to a track meet. The wife (called “wife” from here on), picks up a piece of paper, sees that it is an invoice from a recently hired lawn chemical service, and a conversation busts out.
Wife: Why are they invoicing us before they even do the service?
Husband: Oh, they came the other day, i saw them here
Wife: Then why is the yard not green?
(took hubby a second, then he realized she meant the green color that some companies add to the chemicals to show its been applied)
Husband: This company must not add the green color, or they will on the next treatment, maybe, but i saw the two men and the truck and they were spraying the yard
Wife: Did they have a professional looking truck? Did it look like a decent sized company? Were they wearing uniforms?
Husband: yes yes and yes
Some quiet minutes…
Wife: Did they do the back yard, are you sure they did the back yard?
Husband (the tiny flicker of irritation, but keeping it hidden): I didn’t literally see them do the back yard but I cant imagine why they wouldn’t
Wife: I guess we will see when the weeds don’t die in the back
Husband: So, you don’t trust them? Do you generally distrust folks we choose to do business with?
Wife: No, I trust people, I already explained to you the reason I asked about the back yard was the lack of green color painted on the grass.
Pause for unpacking, or stop to scream.
If you didn't catch it, read this and then read the above conversation again:
...he was left with a bad taste in his mouth because he wanted, more than anything, for her to realize that asking him if the dudes sprayed the back yard was like saying he was not capable to handle little things like the lawn service without someone coaching him on all the right accountability to lay out.
...when speaking to his son, husband discovered that the son had followed along, correctly, in real time, to the whole conversation, and he understood not only the head fake of raising the green color again, but more importantly the implied challenge to husbands ability to do the most basic things.Those of you ladies who are training your hamster to shut up probably caught it right away. A wife who has chosen to obey the words of Ephesians 5:33, will find it's the smallest details in life which are so important. They speak volumes about the inner thought processes and convictions of a woman abiding in the Word in all things.
Here's how an Ephesians 5:33 wife's conversation goes:
Wife: Why are they invoicing us before they even do the service?The result - harmony. No showing of disrespect, no questioning of her husband's capabilities, no belittling, no fretting.
Husband: Oh, they came the other day, i saw them here
Wife: Oh, okay. Great!
We can do this, ladies. We can train our tongues. And, the more we choose to train our tongues, the more we train our brains and our hearts. Our eyes will be opened to how easy it gets to defer to our husbands and show respect. We will separate ourselves from our sinful natures that undermine our husband's authority. We will begin to see this subtle disrespect quickly in life situations around us, especially with our children. In those times, we will be able to properly mentor them to hold their tongues.
I told RLB about this exchange after I read it and explained the disrespect I found in the woman's responses. He admitted it hadn't occurred to him. I told him I wanted to write a post about it. I think it is fabulous that Empathologism is illustrating examples like this so men can become "hamster whisperers" and feel that as Christian women we need to start doing our part. These are fitness tests. They are disrespectful and they undermine our attraction to our husbands*. He suspected I'd need to do a better job explaining it with this post because it was hard for him to follow when I was telling him.
It is not hard for women to understand. Flip the script and it becomes blatantly evident:
Husband: Why are they invoicing us before they even do the service?We will immediately see the distrust of our competence in a hypothetical situation of a husband asking such questions because we project his motive to what ours would be in asking those questions. I know with certainty that I'm being disrespectful and belittling to RLB when I ask questions like that.
Wife: Oh, they came the other day, I saw them here
Husband: Then why is the yard not green? Did they have a professional looking truck? Did it look like a decent sized company? Were they wearing uniforms?
Wife: Do you think I'm an incompetent idiot? No, some white van showed up with a couple of masked men and I just figured it was the lawn company and didn't question it. Geez.
But...but...what if they didn't actually spray the yard?
I'm quite sure the husband will see in a matter of time if the weeds have grown back up and will either question the lawn service company or not use them in the future. It doesn't matter. Nothing is accomplished by a wife questioning the way this one did. I know when I was not committed to obeying Ephesians 5:33, RLB would have gladly paid any fee for harmony in our home. Think about that ladies. Think of the dollar amount your husband would pay for you to shut your mouth so that the questioning, nit picking, undermining, and belittling stop and don't build up over time.
*If our husbands do not catch this behavior as the disrespect it is and call us on it, it lessens our attraction to him. Questioning our husband's competence sabotages the intimacy of our marriages. It sends negative feedback into our conscious and our subconscious minds. Overtime we are rolling our eyes, snarking about his abilities to do anything right, placing ourselves as superiors over him, rebelling to God's word and indulging in sin.