Last night something rare happened:
My husband and I found ourselves at the MOVIES. Shocking, I know. I’ll pause to let you collect yourself.
(Seriously, we don’t go to the movies. We usually watch Netflix with the volume so low that we only catch about half of the dialogue and have to ad-lib the rest ourselves.)
So, there we are settling down to watch “Jurassic World”, and I am so excited I’m practically shaking in my seat. I’ve been planning out the perfect thing to order whilst watching dino-mutants eat each other, and couldn’t wait to get my paws on the menu. My husband, on the other hand, calmly settled into his seat and didn’t peruse the menu for a good 5 minutes. He sat back to enjoy the previews before considering if he wanted to eat, while I wanted to eat before considering the previews.
And that brings us to today’s list:
3 Annoying Traits of a Catholic Husband That Point You To Heaven
3. When your husband is a boss at temperance.
I am an emotional eater. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with food for as long as I can remember. I use it to reward myself and punish myself. I use it when I’m happy about something or sad about something. I eat sometimes even when I’m not hungry. But my husband… well, he does this thing where he pauses for a moment before considering food to discern whether he is actually hungry or not. He also doesn’t snack, because it “doesn’t occur to him”. I once even saw him turn down a Coke because he didn’t want to “ruin his appetite”.
This annoys me because I am so opposite of this and it’s stupid hard for me to be temperate with food. I don’t discern my hunger level, I haven’t met a snack I don’t like, and I certainly don’t let a liquid ruin my appetite. But seeing my husband practice this detachment from food, and this mindful approach to eating, reminds me that I need to tackle my lack of temperance daily.
2. When your husband doesn’t remember a single thing even though you’ve told him about a thousand times verbally and electronically.
My husband is brilliant. It’s true. I think that all of his brain space is so busy being used on smart-people stuff, that it doesn’t have room to store any information regarding upcoming events, what we need at the store, what I’m making for dinner, or what items we have in our pantry. Got a technical issue? He’s on it. Need someone to analyze data, make spreadsheets, argue politics or play on the stock market? He’s your man. But ask him to find the salt in the pantry, and he’ll look at you like you’ve just asked him to carry the ring to Mount Doom.
I love all of his quirky traits, and while this one too can annoy me, it urges me to work on patience. I’m such a type-A Tasmanian devil, spinning from one thing to another, that pausing to have patience is something I need to practice often.
1. When your prayer life needs a kick in the pants, your husband wastes no time in pushing you to get back to God.
Before our movie date last night, my husband took me to adoration. I’m ashamed to say it was only the second or third time I’ve been since last year. I was avoiding talking to God, because we have a long list of discussion points that I would just like to ignore, please and thank you. But my husband knows better. He knows that he can’t fulfill all my needs, and that if he wants a happy wife, she needs to be close to her Beloved.
And last, but not least, he knows that I suffer from pride and need to be taken down a notch occasionally…
…Which he accomplished by slyly handing me the “Litany of Humility” while we were in the chapel. Just as my inner-teenager was stomping her feet and saying, “Nooooooooooaaaahhhh”, I sighed because I knew he was right.
That’s just it – my pride is the reason I get annoyed when my husband displays the above listed traits. Part of me thinks I should be perfect in all things, like temperance, patience and prayer. If someone is correcting me or guiding me, that means I’ve messed up somewhere. AND I CAN’T MESS UP.
Except, I can. Because I am a human being full of flaws and vices. I am wounded and I make mistakes all the time. My pride hates that, because it means I need to rely on others. It means I have to decrease while others increase. It means I don’t know everything, and I’m not in control. Finally, it means that I am nothing without God’s love.
It hurts so good.
Thank the Lord that I have my husband in my life to annoy me (read: challenge my vices/make me a better person). He points me to heaven so lovingly, genuinely and gently that the only thing I can really be annoyed with is my pride. But he loves that part of me, too.
And I humbly accept his love as the generous gift from God that it is – it’s my path to Heaven, after all.