That was the question that was presented to me by my husband the night before last. My first thought was that we were about to go into dangerous territory, and my next thought I posed to him audibly:
"Why do ask? Do you have pet peeves about me?"
He said he didn't, and that wasn't why he was asking the question...he just wanted to know.
Well...in that case....
I started to think about whether I had any "pet peeves" and what they were. I even got ready to name some...
"Ugh..when we put plastic containers away, is it absolutely necessary to just pile them willy-nilly?"
"Dishes - it grosses me out SO much when you leave the washcloth in the sink...just sitting there...producing mildew and nastiness."
"Everything is kind of half done...painting, the burner things on the stove, the stuff on the side porch getting cleaned out...it's all just kind of half done."
I could probably think of other things, but I never said them; something stopped me.
Initially, the only thing that stood in the way of my nag list was the fact that he may indeed have things that bother him about me, and I may open Pandora's box...yikes. I mean, if something I do really bothers him, then I'd like for him to tell me, but starting a "I hate when you do this..." war didn't sound like a good idea.
I'm glad I kept my mouth shut.
When I was up in the middle of the night last night, I had some time to think about the subject, and I was able to grasp a little clarity.
This is deep...ya'll ready?
The things we call pet peeves are actually just things
we're letting the devil use to destroy our contentment.
Yup...I even brought Satan into it. In all reality, it's debatable whether it's actually Satan because, unlike our God, Satan is not omnipotent, nor is he omnipresent. Therefore, the actual culprit is probably just our sinful nature...but that came into play because of the fall of man, which Satan had a good part in, so we'll just go with that and leave the formal theological discussion for another day, m'kay?
Back to the statement though. Is that accurate? It kinda stings a little, right? Because we all have those things about other people that drive us a little nuts, right? It's completely normal, and I refuse to give up my little idiosyncrasies. I refuse...even if they get in the way of me being the Christian God wants me to be...even if it means I'm not loving people the way I should. This is me...get over it.
What's that sound like folks? Ding, ding, ding!! Survey says??
Yes, sirs and madams, it would seem as though these little things we call "pet peeves" are our idols. The little things that we allow to get between us and the love we should have for others.
For example, every single thing I listed about Josiah above can be countered with something positive...and infinitely more important (and honey, I sincerely hope you don't mind me using you as an example. I love you).
- You scratch at your feet when they're flaky, and it grosses me out. But your feet are like that because you work hard every day. You stand on them all day long working to support our family. Moreover, when was the last time I stopped thinking about my pregnancy swelling and whining about my feet and did something for you? It's been a while hasn't it. Convicted.
- You totally turn the storage containers into an inevitable plastic avalanche, and you do have a tendency to let the dish rag lay about...but unlike many husbands, you're helping me in the kitchen. You've taken my working and being pregnant very seriously, and you are there working for us at every turn. How many wives wouldn't give their right arms to have their husbands help in the kitchen? You cook quite frequently AND you end up doing the dishes a lot and cleaning up after us. Convicted.
- Yes, there are things around here that are half done...but the reason they're only half done is because you're often too busy helping us do other things and spending quality time with us. You're constantly shuttling kids places or doing things with and for me. Do I expect you to work every second of your day? When you have Sundays off, you could be getting stuff done around here, but nooooo, instead you're with us...in church...being and becoming a strong spiritual leader for our family, which is so much more important than whether things are half done in the house. Convicted.
There isn't one thing I can list, not one "pet peeve," that doesn't have a much weightier counterpart...and I am choosing to focus on the latter.
Further, I would hope he would extend the same grace to me. I hope the little things I do that annoy him are drastically outweighed by the things he loves about me, and I hope he chooses to see the positive instead.
Would our marriages, and honestly, our relationships with others in general, be much healthier if we chose to concentrate on the positive instead of allowing our minds to be continually drawn toward the negative?
This is something I am going to pray about often...and with fervor. Will you do the same?
(Listed below are scriptures I wanted to list with this, but I didn't want to lose the continuity of though. Always important to link it back to the Word though!)
"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:11-13
"Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love."
"Little children, keep yourselves from idols."
"A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm"
"Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife."
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife."
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”