I always cringe when I see promos for CBS’ The Good Wife because it’s so clear the title is a misnomer. A recent promo showed her responding to her husband’s insistence that his affair meant nothing by saying, “Well, mine did,” or some such blather. Add this to the long list of shows I never need to watch.
And then there’s me. My husband brags to his coworkers about how he has a glass of tea and dinner waiting for him every night when he gets home. I’m sure he also brags about how I make everything from scratch, my penchant for crafts and my work ethic.
But I’m also sure what he doesn’t brag about – my nitpicking, nagging and obsessions.
“Can you please not leave dirty dishes on the counter?” I asked one morning after finding one dirty coffee cup next to the sink.
“That drawer does shut all the way, you know. I’ve tested it.”
“You forgot to turn on the dishwasher. Again.”
Granted, sometimes I need to offer some helpful (to me) advice: “Please turn off the shower nozzle when you’re done so I don’t get doused when I clean the bathtub.” Now that’s a valid request. But usually my requests are dripping in sarcasm and delivered with a sigh. Yes, it’s obvious what a good wife I can be.
It’s a good thing our house isn’t fashioned like Hebrew homes of old with flat roofs or my husband would be tempted to build himself a man cave up there, even if (or perhaps even because) we live in the lightning capital of the world.
It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife. – Proverbs 21:9
A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain. – Proverbs 19:13
A constant dripping – there’s a noise that would send my OCD tendencies into overdrive. Yet that’s what I sound like in my nagging and nitpicking. What a blessing I must be in those rare moments we interact face-to-face between my husband’s two jobs.
And what a contrast to the “gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” described in 1 Peter 3:4. Does a quiet spirit require I become a silent automaton with a painted-on smile? Not at all. But it does require I “set a guard over my mouth” (Psalm 141:3) and ask myself, “Is it kind? Is it helpful? Is it necessary?” before I issue yet another petty complaint.
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. – 1 Peter 3:8-9
I want a blessing. More important, I want to be a blessing because that honors my Lord. I want to be The Good Wife – the one shown to me in Scripture, not on television. Sorry, CBS.