Shouldn’t He Know What I Want from Starbucks?
By Janel Breitenstein
My boyfriend at the time set himself apart from all the other college dudes in a curious way: He wasn’t all that impressed with me.
Well, I take that back. I sensed his deep respect (and still do). I sensed his quiet pride in me, in my accomplishments. But they weren’t what snagged him.
Somehow, he received the message I wished everyone else could read, even when I didn’t read it myself: I’m so much more, and remarkably, less, than what I do.
This is probably one of the reasons I married him.
Maybe it’s the same reason it’s not a big deal to me that he doesn’t always remember my shoe size. Because he could know my favorite Starbucks drink (actually—he does), but space out on the reasons, healthy and not-so-much, why I’m hurt by our son’s attitude. Or am weirded out by that interpersonal situation at work.
He could excel at loving the “me” on paper more than the hard work of loving me in person.
Don’t get me wrong. Details matter. They can communicate, “I see you. Your details are something important.”
But then again, you could know how your husband likes his apple pie, but not understand why his shoulders slope lower after work.
You could know her favorite shade of lipstick and what box to get when she needs to color her hair—but not care why she exhales at the whiskers left in the sink.
You could know exactly what to get him for his birthday, but miss out on the insecurity he feels about being a dad.
I wonder if Jesus felt a shade of this. The Pharisees accomplished it spectacularly: They knew God on paper like no one else, but totally missed His heart.
They missed it to the point of not recognizing Him when He showed up in the flesh.
More than knowing all the little things today? Know and love your spouse.
The good stuff: Let love be genuine. (Romans 12:9a)
Action points: Today when you see your spouse after work, take a brief moment to hear about his or her day and truly empathize. Express your compassion and sincere interest.
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