Monday, January 24, 2011

Marriage Mondays ~ What's in your pantry?

At the end of 2010 my kitchen pantry needed attention. It made every recipe a little bit more of an adventure. I could find everything, and I was sure insurance would cover any accidents :) Even the dog looked concerned when he peered inside. I just looked the other way ...

My organizationally gifted hubby took pity on me as the new year began; he was probably a little tired of feeling like he was in the Matrix when it was time for breakfast. So, he took a cold, gray Saturday to organize the Pantry. It's not the first time he's done such a service. Once he organized my mom's fridge, even making little labels for the shelves, to categorize her cache. He's just handy and helpful like that. So it was time he took pity on our pantry.

In the process ...
"So what's the problem?" you ask. Some of you are thinking you'd love a handy husband with a heart for the pantry and you!  Well ... I guess I don't like pity. Don't like having a zone of my dominion labeled a mess (or labeled at all ...).   While Jeff tackled expiration dates and mixed vegetables, I just let him do his thing, and I stayed far out of the way. But my lack of interference wasn't kindness. When Jeff got to a box of medicines requiring lots of: "Honey, what's this for? Do you want this? Do we really need this? Do you know how old this is? Can I pitch this?" questions, I went from uncomfortable with the "Pantry Intervention" to annoyed.

I was not appreciating his work or his help or his kind way of doing it.  I was not blessing him for serving me with his gifts or joining him in caring for our home together.  This really wasn't about having a polished pantry, categorized cans, or beautifully lined boxes.  Lurking somewhere in the dark recesses of the snack shelf, beside the expired cracker packs and can of beets, was my pride, and it needed to be tossed out. I lost the opportunity of thanking my husband for offering me his help to lift a load in my life.  It was an opportunity lost, similar to the potatoes that went bad while hiding on the floor behind the extra bread flour. 

When the Psalmist wrote about the wicked, he addressed pride, how it can stir up ugly words against someone who is behaving righteously. Pride can actually rob us of blessings we are mean to enjoy .... even in the marriage pantry.

Psalm 31:18-19
Let their lying lips be silenced,  for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous. How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.

Better ...
There is no room for pride in the pantry of marriage.  It has a short shelf life and stinks when we keep it around. Like I wouldn't keep a bag of rotten potatoes in a pantry full of fresh food, I can't let my pride remain and contaminate my relationships, especially my marriage.

When ugliness rears up in our marriage, we can be thankful God's mercies are new each day, and asking for forgiveness is a bridge to extend to our loved one. Restoration with our lover is sweet, but requires humility to get there, letting someone "get in our pantry."  The alternative would be to let it stay hidden and ignored, but then it just expires and rots.  Who wants rotten potatoes (pride?) in a marriage, when "abundant are the good things" that God has for us to experience?

I'm praying our marriage pantries are in order today and that nothing is "rotting" in there ;)  It might be time to clean it out and do a little organizing together.

Blessings on your oneness today,

1 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Jhames Stewart said...

My wife likes to keep recycled bottle glasses for seasoning she uses in cooking, and they're all piled up in one of the kitchen cabinets. I kinda notice when she gets annoyed eveytime I ask her about something when I volunteer to clean our pantry. It's a bit hurtful but I try to contain myself, so I ask her in a very nice way. I understand that she's tired with all the weekday chores so I just keep mum about it. And there will be no dinner if we fight. LOL.