This one falls under the category of be careful what you wish for.
“I like this. I really like it. We should do this more often, honey.” My husband kicked his feet onto the dashboard and reclined his seat until it touched our daughter’s toes behind him. He flipped open a magazine and wiggled his eyebrows at me.
From the passenger side.
Because I was driving.
I don’t like driving. I much prefer to hand my husband the keys and let my thoughts drift out the window. That’s been our unspoken arrangement since I met the guy. But last week, on our way out the door for a 45-minute trip to visit friends, he was tired so I offered to drive. And now our happy system is in jeopardy.
“What are you saying? I thought you liked driving.” I crinkled my forehead and glanced sideways at my husband.
“But this is great! I can lay back and relax, catch up on my reading. You should drive from now on, wifey. You’re a great driver.”
“Yeah? That’s like telling me I’m really good at doing the dishes. I’m not falling for it.”
Darn it, I like the passenger seat.
Ok sure fine, let’s be honest, when it comes to relinquishing control to my manly man, driving is more an exception than the rule. In many other aspects of our married life, I buck his leadership—hard.
Like when he took over the daily budget and told me I had to cut back on Kohls shopping.
Or when I vote for the expensive ballet class and he votes no way.
Or when he asks me to respect family time and put my phone away. And my iPad. And my laptop. Seriously? You’re killing me, man.
But it occurred to me when I was driving and wishing for my passenger spot that there are several areas in which I really do value my husband’s initiative.
I don’t want to mow the lawn, for example.
Or grill the chicken.
Fix the faucet.
Track the IRAs, 401Ks, options trades and W-whatevers, don’t even talk to me about it. Makes my head numb.
So maybe I could loosen my grip on the marital steering wheel, so to speak, or else I just might find myself driving straight down the road to regret.
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down” (Proverbs 14:1).
As wives, we can build up our husbands by honoring their views. Or we can shred them to pieces with our need to be right, to get our own way, to control the details and to have the last word.
When you look at it that way, it’s not really a tough choice, is it?
“Girls, next time I should sit in the back with you!” My husband turned to our daughters in the seats behind us. “We can watch movies and eat snacks.”
“Yeah, Dad!” They cheered.
“Please don’t.” I slowed to brake at a stoplight and faced my husband. “I like it when you drive.”
And so I must learn to like it when he drives more than just the car. Because that’s marriage. Two people, with equal input, relinquishing their own desires at times for the good of a family. And honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way. To love and follow a flawed person means to place great confidence in the God who leads us both.
I can’t think of a better position to be in.
Lisa Littlewood says
Ahhh yes…relinquishing our control. I find it ironic that I’m reading this shortly after having a somewhat tense conversation about the cost of Halloween costumes…My opinion vs. his…What a great visual reminder of the give and take necessary in a healthy relationship. Thanks for a great reminder (:
I’ve had those tense conversations before, too, Lisa. I find it helps for us to remember that our opinions are just that – opinions, differing viewpoints, and different does not mean wrong. It can be hard to concede that sometimes, though. Another reason God gave us marriage – to learn how to serve others above self!
Allison B says
I like it when my husband drives too, both the car and the family. This post comes at a good time since we are going to have a budget talk tonight. Typically we are on the same page but I want to save for a new mattress and I don’t think he’ll like my suggestions on where to make some cuts.
Ugh, the dreaded budget talks. How did it go??
I only drive if my husband is really, really tired. Otherwise, it’s him. I like having him being in control(there, at least LOL)