I have decided “Get Over Yourself” will be a regular column here at Christian Marriage Spice. This series is aimed mostly at men. I seek to lovingly hold the fellas accountable for… well… not being lazy and inconsiderate bums and on serving their wives. The best way I can do that is by sharing stories of me being a punk. I ask you to hold me accountable on this as well. Perhaps this series will be a bit more blunt than others, but that is OK… get over yourself.

Be forewarned, I have Quentin Tarantino-ed you by telling you the conclusion of this story and will now invite you  on the journey of how the story unfolded in my ridiculous and over sized head, as I was alone at our quiet suburban home on an overcast Tuesday in March of the year 2010.

Special Note: Feminazis are disallowed from breathing fire at me over this post; I am not saying “the woman’s place is in the kitchen”. We are in a blessed position where my wife is in school full-time and has the availability to assume more of the household chore responsibilities. Also, read: Lowly Woman: Cook, Clean, Make Babies & SUBMIT to Your Husband.

Since the dawn of time, the infamously daunting “dirty dishes” debacle has caused so much strife, frustration, sadness, and anger for couples. I can only imagine what it was like in the cave man days… hairy rugged man comes home to the cave after a long day hunting Wooly Mammoths and running from Sabre Tooth Tigers only to see a pile of unclean dishes (made out of tree bark?). He quickly looks away and walks to the other side of the cave. Meanwhile, cave momma is positively pooped after an exhausting day watching over the homestead gathering nuts, and finger painting on the walls with the cave-kids.

She sees him look away from the dishes only to sit down seemingly expecting a nice meal of <insert primitive delectable platter> and quickly becomes enraged. Next thing you know, fang-toothed birds scatter, frightened from their tree perches, and the entire village hears the echoing sounds of hollerin’, hootin’, and dish-throwing from the Uggabugga-family cave. <end of ridiculous story>

As I mentioned in a previous post, throughout the course of my marriage, caring about a clean sink has taken a little bit of time and “personal growth”. In college, my 3 roommates and my preferred method was to ignore the smells and slowly growing plant / animal infestation emanating from the sink. We played a veritable game of dish washing “chicken”, which inevitably ended in “checkmate” only when someone’s family or friends were scheduled for a visit.  You would really be surprised by the creative substitutes we discovered for plates and silverware we.

In my marriage, I have earnestly tried to prioritize washing dishes and unloading the dishwasher. I’m definitely not perfectly consistent with this oh-so-exhausting and menial chore, but I really try because my wife prefers a clean sink. Yesterday as I walked through the kitchen, I noticed dirty dishes had started overflowing from the sink. We have roommates, so this can happen somewhat quickly. I put on my astute dish-detective hat (apparently these exist) to investigate the cause, and quickly concluded the culprit was an unloaded dishwasher. I thought “I’m kind of a big deal, I’m busy and important, someone should really put these dishes away.”

Next, carefully select which one of the two following events transpired…

  1. The dried-food-freckled ceramic plates started taunting me
  2. The Holy Spirit moved in my heart and said “get over yourself and do the dang dishes!”

If you chose both option 1 AND 2, you are correct! Congratulations, you win self-satisfaction! I then thought, I’m going to do the dishes as I normally would, but flip on the good-ole timer and see how long it takes for me to finish. It took me only 6 minutes and 42 seconds to unload the chock-full dishwasher AND refill it with rinsed dishes! A small investment of ONLY 6 minutes and 42 seconds stood in the way of showing my wife love and allowing her to feel served. It was at the precise moment of me looking at the timer when I realized “Wow… I’m a jerk.”

The Moral of This Story:
Get over yourself… it really does not take much time to serve your wife by doing the little things that mean a lot to her.

By the way, even if certain activities do take longer than 6 minutes 42 seconds… get over yourself and do them anyway. Do the dang dishes, vacuum the house, wash her car, cook dinner, put the kids to bed, pick up your clothes, clean the toothpaste goo out of your sink, etc etc!

These are some of the small, but important results you experience as you prioritize leading in service within your marriage :

  • Creates an ecosystem of harmony in your home
  • Protects against bitterness and “score keeping” in your marriage
  • Shows your wife (and kids) an example-in-action of what it means and looks like to lead in service
  • Experience walking in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior by serving the people around you
  • Gives your spouse the opportunity to feel loved, cared for, respected, cherished, and honored
  • Provides the opportunity and pleasure for your spouse to show gratitude and thank you
  • Helps you get over yourself

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

Extra Credit Comedy

Below is a video clip of a hilarious argument in the movie “The Break Up”; I could not forgo the opportunistic relevance of allowing you to chuckle at this. This was actually a pretty depressing movie in the context of existing in any kind of joyful, fulfilling, and Christ-centered relationship.

Woman: “I want you to want to do the dishes”
Man: “Why would I want to do dishes?”

… haha!

Discussion Questions

  • Do you relate with anything in this story? What and why?
  • Can you think of any similar story where you felt like a knucklehead?
  • What are some of the small acts of service you should better prioritize for your spouse?