Monday, February 18, 2013

When He Doesn't Say Thank You

I woke up that morning determined. With my hair in a bun and my cleaning clothes on I began cleaning our 2100 square foot home from top to bottom. Not an easy feat with 2 toddlers and a new born! I scrubbed toilets and floors, dusted shelves, tidied toys; it looked fantastic. I spent the entire day thinking about how my husband was going to come into the house and just gush over all my hard work. I just knew he would! How could he not?

That evening when he walked in, he didn't say much. I waited patiently for him to "turn off" work mode and notice all the effort I had put in that day. Instead of telling me how wonderful it all looked, or thanking me for doing it, he walked straight to a single piece of paper that had been over looked on the floor, picked it up and threw it in the trash with a sigh. I was devastated.  I mean truly hurt.

Let me preface the rest of this post by saying that I am not excusing my husband's behavior that day and I know he wouldn't either. For whatever reason (I can't remember), he walked in, in a bad mood and could only focus on what had been missed. We talked and he apologized and made it right. His sin, was not my fault and I am not taking responsibility for it.

However, he was not the only one who sinned that day. It occurred to me much later, that I had become reliant on his gratitude in order to motivate me into cleaning. If he wasn't grateful why should I bother? I had spent hours cleaning my house for my husband and when he didn't appreciate the effort I was heart broken. Had I been cleaning my house because I wished to honor the Lord through my service, I would not have been! Instead of considering the eternal value of having served my family as commanded, I was looking for the momentary satisfaction of a few words! As a result, my house would often decline into a state of chaos. For some reason I had decided that it was better to live in that chaos than to risk not getting that thank you.

There are still days when I don't manage my time efficiently and my husband walks into a chaotic home. There are others when, time just gets away and despite my best effort things still don't get done. There are still days when I work hard, get it all done and I crave that thank you. Sometimes I get it and sometimes I don't, but I am slowly but surely learning that when I am serving that my joy is found in obedience to Christ and his word and not in the words of a man, even if he is my husband.

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Rachel E. said...

It does hurt when they don't say anything. It also hurts when they say the wrong thing. I can remember a few months back how my husband said something about our house always being a mess. It hurt. I try, but with five kids it can be hard.

You make a good point though. Are we doing it all for our spouse or for Him?

Katrina said...

This is a great post. You definitely changed my perspective! Thank you :-)

Anna said...

It is hard and I can't honestly say that it still doesn't hurt sometimes, but I find myself offended far less often when my focus is on the eternal rather than the earthly benefits of taking care of my family.