The poor Man has been down with a cold for the past few days. He’s been grumbling, and moaning, and sniffling, and blowing his nose. He rallied to go the football game with me but then he was down and out the next day. I hate to admit it, but he doesn’t get much sympathy from me when he’s got a cold.
I don’t pamper him. I don’t voluntarily make him a hot drink, or bring him medicine, unless he asks for it. I really just want him to get over the cold and to do it quickly and neatly.
He’s a much better caretaker than I am. When I have a cold, he brings me hot tea, and tucks me under a warm, wooly blanket, and asks me if I’m okay. He makes sure I have a box of tissues nearby. And then keeps checking on me.
I am not that good to him, I’m ashamed to say.
There’s a country song popular right now, “Hard to Love” sung by Lee Brice. It’s one of my favorites. I heard it tonight on my way home from work and it got me to thinking about this past week while the Man had his cold.
I am insensitive,
I have a tendency to pay more attention to the things that I need.
When the Man and I were in a marriage class before we got married, I remember the pastor asking us how we thought the relationship would be divided in things like carrying burdens, taking care of each other, being responsive to the other’s needs, loving each other, and a host of other issues that come up when you’re in a relationship with another person.
Our answer to him was a very firm “50-50% split”.
He chuckled and said, “Nope. That’s not how it’s going to be. You’re going to discover that it’s never evenly divided. It’s more like 70-30% or 80-20%. There will be times when one of you is doing more of the work in the relationship than the other. And times when one of you puts the other first much more than the reverse.”
The Man and I weren’t sure we believed this. But you know what? The pastor was right. There are many times the Man loves me 80% and I love him 20%. Just as there are many times when I love him 80% and he loves me 20%. He does 70% of the housework and I do 30%. I do 70% of worrying about the bills and he does 30%. Nothing has ever been evenly split.
I’m hard to love, hard to love,
Oh, I don’t make it easy,
Well I couldn’t do it if I stood where you stood,
I’m hard to love, hard to love,
And you say that you need me,
Well I don’t deserve it but I love that you love me good.
I am very hard to love. I’m demanding. I’m sassy. I’m quick to anger. I worry too much. Sometimes he just can’t please me no matter how hard he tries. Honestly, there are a lot of days that I don’t know how the Man can stand to be around me. I can’t stand to be around me.
I don’t deserve his love. I certainly haven’t done anything to earn it. But for reasons I don’t understand, he loves me. I am so very thankful for that. And I’m so thankful that he hasn’t given up on me.
Of course, this parallels beautifully with the love our Savior has for us. None of us deserves His love. We certainly can’t earn it. It’s a gift, plain and simple, freely given. His love is perfect and we are far from that. But yet He loves us.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love” Jeremiah 31:3
Sorry, Man, for not taking better care of you this week while you were sick. I’ll do better next time.
Just trying to keep it honest, folks.
Life is messy.