Dishwasher Disputes

My husband and I are huge on the fact that our children help around the house. We don’t call them chores, because that isn’t what they are. They are everyday things that need to get done—reality, not chores. They each have their own individual responsibilities, but they also have some jobs that they share, or take turns at. Emptying the dishwasher, being one of them.

This is an ongoing battle between our two children. As soon as it is announced that the dishwasher needs to be emptied, it is a quick verbal scuffle of, “I emptied it last!” They constantly keep score. It is incredibly painful. I struggle sometimes to stay patient with these darling children, but as I mumbled a prayer of patience under my breath one day, a little voice whispered back to me and it really struck home.

Can you think of what might have been whispered back to me? Any idea? I’ll give you a hint! Think about the way we are with our spouse. Do you ever keep track of who does what? Do you ever throw in your husband’s face what you’ve done over the past day or week, while he reclines in a very comfortable position on the couch? I’m very guilty of doing this! Keeping score of what we do. Making mental notes of what I did while he was curling, or golfing. I even have a beautiful entertainment center as a score that I kept over how much he was spending on a golf membership. I love my entertainment center, but looking back, I was so immature! God bless his soul for putting up with me!

I can imagine this battle in my head is as painful as it is to listen to my children dispute over who did what. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why are we always keeping track of what we do? What we spend? Do we have to justify to ourselves how wonderful we are? Is everything a competition? No. Then why do we do that to each other? All we are doing is adding another bitter ball to our juggling act called marriage.

Marriage is hard enough without keeping score on what we do. I’ve come to realize, that marriage might be 50-50, but woman find it hard to understand men, and men find it hard to understand woman. As hard as it might seem, we have to learn to suck it up and just do things, with a servant’s heart. That is what we are here to do. Be a servant to our family and our Lord. As woman, we have to take a long look at Proverbs 31, and realize, that this is what we should striving to be. Not a tally keeper on all our wonderful deeds. If we are keeping tally, this lady would put anyone to shame!

The Proverb 31 Wife didn’t keep score. There are many great words of wisdom in these verses that still hold strong today. For the topic of keeping score, I would like to look at Proverbs 31:26 says “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.” Do you know how many times my mouth opened with a count of the score of what I did to what he did? And my tongue was nowhere near the law of kindness.

My husband has a very stressful job. Running his Facebook page for his restaurant is stress enough on me. Human beings are nasty, nasty, nasty—especially those who might have had to wait more than promised for their food. You should see what is written in the heat of their empty stomachs and impatient anger. It makes my blood boil, but he takes it with stride. I admire how he handles these customers and I realize he doesn’t need me harping at him too. He needs my support, not my score keeping antics.

I work hard too, I’m not diminishing what I do, but nobody, including your husband wants to hear about how hard you work, or how much you’ve done. We all have our struggles, and our challenges. We have to remember to hold our tongues and be kind. Hopefully we are more mature than my 11 and 13 year olds who keep mental notches on who emptied the dishwasher last, but there was a time in my life, I have to admit, I did just this.  Now, looking back, I’m ashamed I was that immature!

Use your tongue for showing your husband how much you appreciate what they do for their families. Men need to know they are appreciated, and respected and it doesn’t take much effort to tell them this. Unless you are keeping score, but trust me, it does nothing for a marriage. It might help you lose the best thing that you ever had in your life—an amazing man! If you aren’t appreciating him, trust me, someone, somewhere is…and they are bragging him up too! That is a score you don’t want to lose! Drop what you are doing and tell your husband how much you appreciate them, and all they do for you and their family. Start playing that game right…try to out-do your husband with compliments, and showering each other with attention. Stop the negative score keeping and keep track of something worthwhile! Each other!

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