Other People's Problems

Sometimes, learning about other people's problems can make you hold a magnifying glass to your own life. If you're lucky, maybe looking that close will show you just how blessed you really are.

We all know people who think the grass is greener in someone else's yard. That notion hit home for me when I learned, recently, about someone who went to have a roll in someone else's grass. It looks to me like her own yard is plenty pretty, but she had to go look around.

Happily, I can report that when I look at other people's yards, it only makes my own grass look greener. The choices made by other people encourage me to look at my own choices. And their actions sometimes make me think again about what I promised, before God, close to 24 years ago.

One of those promises was to honor my husband. What does that mean? I thought I knew when I made the promise, but I have since learned that it is more complicated than I first thought.

There's the basic idea of honoring someone: to treat them with respect, to be polite and considerate. Isn't it more than that? I think it is to show my respect and admiration for him, even when he isn't there and certainly when he is. I think it is also to honor him with my time and attention. Some people don't really merit the effort of my attention, truthfully, but my husband always does.

So what does it mean? It means I stop what I'm doing and help him when he asks. I stop the meanderings of my mind and focus my attention on him when he talks to me (no easy feat, that!). It also means I don't button the collar button on his shirt when I hang up his clothes. Momma taught me to button the shirt. He thinks it's a pain to take the hanger down and unbutton the shirt. So I silence my Mom's voice in my head and leave it loose.

I also think about the ways in which my husband honors me. I try to notice what he does for me, man things that women might not pay attention to. He checks the air in my tires, for one thing. He puts the things that I want done higher on his to-do list than what he really thinks they merit. He doesn't tell me how to do things, even though he would like to, unless I really do need help. He only speaks well of me behind my back, and doesn't (usually) join in with the banter about wives.

Maybe, some other day, I'll focus on the things we do for love.