Proverbs 15:1 - A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Without fail, my husband gets home at 6:30 each evening – give or take a 10 minute window due to traffic. It’s a routine we’ve become accustomed to, and plain and simple; I plan dinner around that timeslot. I was making Chicken Parmesan last night – one of his favorites. I’d carefully planned out the timing so everything would be ready when he walked in the door.
At 7 o clock, he still wasn’t home and my chicken was going to turn into the Sahara Desert if we didn’t eat soon. I called his cell phone, a weary voice answered to tell me he was just now leaving the office. “Oh”. Was my reply and “I would’ve appreciated a call as my chicken is going to dry out” was what ran through my mind. “What is it?” he asked….and I replied that I had dinner ready. He said he was sorry and would be home as soon as he could and I then had to hang up to rescue the dog from being run over from a yellow Fisher Price dump truck.
I was frustrated. I went through the effort of making sure dinner was on time and fabulous and he hadn’t called to tell me he was running late. In my books, an hour is significant. Grrrrr.
Then I stopped short. I was reminded that he (who leaves at the crack of dawn every morning – before I even wake up) had folded the mountain of laundry on the couch to help me out that very morning…which meant he was folding socks and sheets and towels around 5:30 or 6am. I was reminded that he makes tremendous sacrifice and works very hard to provide for our family. Suddenly, my chicken seemed so insignificant and I felt guilty for having gotten upset.
When he walked in the door a few minutes later to the delicious smells of Italian food, the delightful shrieks of joy from our two little boys and a gentle smile, hug and kiss from me, my response was “Honey, I’m so sorry you had a long day.” I visibly saw the stress in his shoulders relax as I welcomed him into a peaceful home. Now, had I mentioned that a phone call or email would have been nice, it would’ve set the tone for frustration for both of us and potentially ruined the entire evening. I’m so glad I chose the gentle answer.
He told me about his day over dinner and I realized how stressful it had been and a phone call was literally the last thing on his mind as he was working hard to get out the door to come home to all of us. Sure, it would’ve been nice, but life happens and thankfully the Lord helps keep the chicken from drying out, gives peace where it’s needed and helps ease away the stresses with the love of helpmates that He grants unconditional grace to.
Boy am I thankful. Lord please help me as I strive to be a good helpmate.
Have a great weekend,