Tattling on Him

Written on

September 11, 2019

When we first married, he never did this and I was so impressed. After all, he had been raised with 2 brothers and no sisters.

Later in our marriage, it only happened occasionally. It was usually when he was distracted by stress or just simply busy.

Recently however, I have come to accept that he is not distracted or busy. It is no longer an occasional occurrence. It is now officially a habit. . .

At first, I was understanding. We all have bad days where even the simplest things fall through the cracks and we can all use an extra dose of grace-filled understanding. I let it go. I didn’t say anything. I was confident that it wouldn’t happen again and excused his oversight with my own assurances that this will pass.

As time went on however, my excuses for him have faltered and failed. He isn’t that stressed. He isn’t that busy. In my mind, the excuses for him evolved into accusations of him and my eyes began to roll with each instance of what I was quickly deeming as neglect.

What could possibly be his crime? How has my husband of over 20 years failed me? What is this mole hill that I have made into a mountain?

The toilet seat.

He is no longer putting the it down.

I have sighed loudly and heavily multiple times. I have “dropped” the seat loudly and heavily too. I have even loudly complained about nearly falling in in the middle of the night.

Nothing has changed – except me.

At first, I was indignant and entitled. He had always thought of me in the bathroom and replaced the seat and the lid when he used the necessary room before me. In my self-centered thoughts, I felt as though I deserved the minimal effort it required of him to put it down. I cleaned it, the least he could do was put it back how he found it. On the worst days, I would allow the thoughts to mutate into ugly indictments of how he felt about me, about us.

I also expected him to read my mind and “fix” the issue without me telling him there was one. This is an old trait of mine that occasionally resurfaces from our first few years of marriage. I wanted him to pick up on the vibes I was putting out, and then, adjust his behavior accordingly.  I gave no thought as to just how unfair this was to him. How can he be responsible for a responsibility he didn’t know he had?

And then, that brought me to the real heart of the issue for me – I was looking at the whole toilet seat issue as his obligation to do for me instead of an opportunity for me to do for him.

Our marriage is not a story about me and how my husband completes me. Our marriage is not a relationship for each of us to see our individual needs met in each other. Our marriage is not about him where I blindly submit to his every whim in order to keep him happy and satisfied and fulfilled.

Our marriage is a picture of the church’s relationship with her groom, Christ. Our marriage is about “us,” what is and works and does for the good of both of us. Our marriage is about growing together and serving each other.

When God allowed me to take a look at the whole bathroom issue from a different perspective, He showed me a few things:

  1. The toilet seat situation is an opportunity to serve my husband. He calls us his “Vinson Women.” He shares the house with me, a teen, a pre-teen and another who acts like a teen. He leads us well, dealing with all the drama and rolling with all the hormones. The man deserves and has earned a break – and if that can come by me granting him a simple grace to leave the seat up – then so be it. I will not fuss or nag or hold resentful thoughts over the toilet seat placement.
  2. The position of the seat, in the grand scheme of life is NOT a big deal. I refuse to let Satan make this little thing a point of contention. I know how quickly the devil can seize a minor thing to morph into major issues. I will not use a toilet seat as a tally mark on a mental score card that would give Satan an open window by which to creep into our marriage. I will gladly put the thing down myself. If my argument is “it takes less than a second!” then I will “invest” this minimal amount.
  3. Every time I enter the bathroom and find the seat in the up position, I am reminded how blessed I am to have THIS man in my life. After my salvation, our love, our relationship is the greatest blessing God has granted me. It is a grace God grants me. To share this journey of life with him is a gift I will not take for granted. Instead of grumbling about having to put the seat down myself, I am intentionally saying silent prayers thanking God for my husband’s daily place in my life. I hope and pray that it is God’s will for him to be around for a long time to continue leaving the seat up!
  4. Just as our marriage is not about me being the center of attention, the lesson of the toilet seat is also a reminder that this world was not created by God for me either. In my busy, fast-paced, get-the girls-to-the-next-thing week, it is SO easy to be distracted  by a schedule of good things and so absorbed in my own schemes that I forget that it is all truly God’s world, God’s story and God’s plan. The simple toilet seat reminds me that just as I am not entitled for my husband to place it either up or down, neither is God obligated to do what I think He should. He knows better. He is better. He should be the One holding all of “my” world in His hands.

 

Most of the time, when I am frustrated with my man, I tell on him. No, I never told his mother while she was living. (Although, I have been tempted to try to get his daddy on my side.) How then do a I tattle on him? I pray. I tell our Heavenly Father how I think my groom is falling short. And, every time, just like this toilet seat issue, God answers me. He may or may not change my husband’s behavior, but He always adjusts my attitude.

I don’t know if after he reads this, I will “mysteriously” find the toilet seat in the down position – but I can honestly say that this post wasn’t a passive aggressive attempt to get my way. It is truly a little lesson that God is using to teach me. Maybe the toilet seat really is all about me after all.

Photo by Charles 🇵🇭 on Unsplash

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