Sometimes, it’s the little things in life that turn into big issues in marriage. Today, author Lisa Flickinger is sharing an incident between her and her husband over their fridge that led her to a creative solution to their problem.
The salad dressing thumped into the correct slot in the fridge door. And then I stretched and rescued the mayonnaise from obscurity behind the apple cider vinegar. Why are yesterday’s leftovers on the bottom shelf behind a bag of oranges? Is it really so difficult to put things back in the fridge where they belong? I didn’t think so. It was very reasonable to expect the ketchup to be in the same place every time I opened the fridge door. The issue needed to be addressed.
“Matt! Can you hear me? I need to talk to you about the fridge.”
My husband appeared from around the corner. “What?”
“The fridge—you never put anything back where it belongs.”
“What do you mean ‘so’?”
His eyes locked on mine; his lips wrinkled against one another, and then he opened the cupboard door to his right. “See these bowls; I put them back where they belong.” He pointed to the glass cabinet on the far wall. “See those Starbucks mugs; I put those back where they belong. What more do you want?”
“What more do I want? I want you to put stuff back in the fridge where it makes sense!”
“I never remember where things go; I really don’t think it matters.”
He didn’t think it mattered? Our home may be his castle but it was my whole world—a mini corporation. It wouldn’t thrive on disorder. And I had a million things to do every day; I couldn’t be playing hide and seek every time I needed something from the fridge. Never mind that he managed a gas plant facility and dealt with the headaches that went with it. How could he possibly think our fridge didn’t matter?
I saw three options to deal with our problem:
1) I could put everything away myself, all the time, and resent Matt for it.
2) I could let the issue go, waste time looking for fridge items, and resent Matt for it.
3) I could throw a fit, until he gave in, and he resents me for it.
Option #3 promised to save me the most time in the future.
Married for 29 years, Matt and I have gripped hands and weathered huge waves determined to swamp our relationship. We’ve poured prayers and God’s Word on hopeless situations and celebrated the Lord’s faithfulness. So why would such a simple thing like the arrangement of our fridge threaten the harmony of our home? Perhaps I’d already discovered the answer. Even the everyday situations in our marriage needed an application of prayer and the Word.
So, I used Option #4. The one where my heart was telling me that “a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1 ESV). Lord, help me!
“Matt… do you care that I care?”
“Yes, I do.”
Lord, thank you for your faithfulness in big and small situations and, Lord, thank you for Sharpies. Amen.
Lisa J. Flickinger is a wife of one, mother of three, and grandmother of seven. She lives and writes in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. When she’s not writing or reading, you will find her combing through antique shops, walking in the woods with her faithful Labrador Zeke, or sipping a Crème Brulee latte with friends. Her first novel, All That Glitters—a tale of love and adventure during the Klondike Gold Rush, will be released February 2016 by Ambassador International. Join her as she navigates life, love and the Word from her blog.