05 May Make It Work
Matt Rogers tells this story:
It was time to eat, or so I thought. I came home at 5:30pm, ready for dinner with my new bride. She had agreed to make dinner, yet when I came home she was not scurrying around the kitchen putting together a meal that would impress Paula Dean. Instead, she was sitting on the couch, watching a show, and recovering after a long day of work.
“When’s dinner?” I asked with obvious frustration that the meal was not ready.
“Dinner?” she replied, “It’s only 5:30. No one eats dinner at 5:30.”
Oh, I beg to differ, I thought, but thankfully I did not say it. In my home growing up, dinner was always ready at 5:30. It did not matter who was preparing the meal, unless something unexpected happened, the meal would always be ready like clockwork at 5:30.
Not only did I assume this was when dinner should take place, but I also preferred it that way. I enjoyed skipping breakfast, eating an early lunch, having dinner at 5:30, and grabbing a snack before bed. Surely, I thought, others had figured out the clear benefits of structuring their eating habits in this way. I mean, who wouldn’t?
My new wife—that’s who wouldn’t. Growing up, her family ate dinner at 6:30. Her dad’s work schedule hindered him from getting home earlier so they ate later. I came home that day ready for dinner, and she was just beginning to think about what to cook.
Marriage exposes these types of preferences. Some prefer a live Christmas tree, and some a fake one. Some prefer the sound of a TV or music playing all the time, while others love silence. Some want their toilet paper to greet them over the top of the roll and others from the bottom. Some want the house to remain in pristine condition throughout the day, and others could not care less. Some want a big family, and some only want one little princess. The list could go on and on.
In most cases preferences are not right or wrong either. It is not “right” to eat dinner at 5:30 and “wrong” to eat at 6:30 (as I quickly learned). These preferences are based on our life history, our experiences, our gifts, and the uniqueness of our personality and they drive hundreds of decisions we make each day.
No two people’s preferences are exactly alike. Marriage provides a unique case study for the way two people with preferences are forced to work together to achieve unity. It doesn’t much matter if you eat at 5:30, 6:30, or somewhere in between, pick one and make it work.
Thank you for supporting 3S Ministries as we care for couples and families. We just finished a series of marriage workshops for the United States Coast Guard in April. Our workshops are offered free to the military and we are able to continue because of your support. We have more Coast Guard engagements scheduled over the summer. Please consider contributing during May. Memorial Day is a tremendous reminder that we should care for those who care for us. Thank you! Donations can be made online at www.3Sministries.org