When I was single, people gave me a lot of advice (some unwanted) to prepare me for marriage. Now that I’m married, people still give me a lot of advice (mostly wanted) to help my marriage. The advice has ranged in topic from finances to romance to children. However, no one has ever given me advice on a pitfall that every married couple deals with…
The proper way to load a dishwasher!
Oh, how many arguments have been started and nights ruined by this debate? How many brothers in Christ have found themselves sleeping on the couch thanks to a fight that commenced with a misplaced fork or from ignoring the phrase “hand wash only” on your wife’s favorite mug?
Yes, this appliance of convenience has at one point or another caused division within every married couple I’ve ever encountered. Why didn’t my pastor warn me? Why didn’t my marriage counselor?!
Do you want to know the reason? It’s because there is no answer. There is no agreed-upon way to load the dishwasher. For all those in the “knife points up camp” touting superior cleaning, there is an equal number of those in the “knife points down camp” shouting, “safety first!”
This isn’t a battle of the sexes. There isn’t one way that all women seem to prefer and another that all men advocate. It seems dishwasher loading preference knows no gender.
So, you’d expect that every once in a while, a man would find a woman, and they’d both be in the knife points down category, they’d get married, and at least one fight would be negated before ever starting. However, as I mentioned above I have never seen such a mythical romance take place.
Knife-pointing-downers must be attracted to the rebellious, carefree nature of knife-uppers. And knife-uppers must be attracted to the stability and safety of the knife-downers. It’s the only thing that makes sense!
Now you may ask (as I’m sure my boss is), “Why are you talking about something so inconsequential as dishwashers on a Christian blog?” Well, brother, it’s amazing how many marital fights start over things that are just as inconsequential. When we are married, husband and wife become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). You should be closer to your spouse than any other person in the world, yet somehow you will still let things like loading a dishwasher get in between you. Why?
Well, we are sinful people. Becoming one flesh doesn’t halve the amount of sin in a marriage. Unfortunately, it doubles it. As a husband, you share the burdens of your wife and any baggage she brings into the relationship. She does the same for you.
Jesus was the perfect example of leading through serving. In marriage, we are to lead in the same way.Click to tweet
The enemy does not want a Christian marriage to succeed. Throughout the Bible, it compares the relationship of Christ and the Church (believers) with that of a bridegroom and his bride. Isaiah 62:5 tells us, “For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.”
Ephesians 5:25-27 continues the analogy when it says, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
If marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship with us, it’s no wonder evil tries to destroy it! As husbands, we have the specific calling to love our wives as Christ loves the Church. Jesus came “not to be minister unto, but to minister, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Jesus was the perfect example of leading through serving. In marriage, we are to lead in the same way.
So, what does that have to do with loading a dishwasher? Well, when you feel a fight with your wife starting to manifest itself, pause for a moment and ask yourself, “Is this really something a Christ-like leader should be making a stand on?” If it’s something as insubstantial as how to load a dishwasher, the answer is probably no.
As a Christ-like leader, it’s better to serve, and that may come about through doing the dishes the way she prefers. And if it really bothers you, do the dishes so fast she doesn’t even have a chance to notice! Trust me, she won’t complain if she never has to do the dishes again.
Family Radio Staff