I was a bit like Cinderella before the ball, humming little songs and dancing dreamily about my kitchen–the same kitchen that would soon be expanding by the magic wand of extra money! I decided to wait and call the builder after we got home from the restaurant, just so that everything was official. But before we left the house, I did check the calendar for the following week. I was wondering if I might need to reschedule a few things, since we were probably going to have a hole in the kitchen by then.
Ken was almost giddy on the way to the Outback. (Which should have been a clue to me.) Once we were seated, his grin made it impossible for me not to smile back. Then, he slid a piece of paper across the table.
“What’s this?” I asked, and looked down to see a spreadsheet. It didn’t totally catch me off guard, because my husband is a spreadsheet sort of guy. But as I began skimming the rows, I was confused. There were a bunch of missionaries listed. And several organizations–like the Pregnancy Resource Center and Mel Trotter Mission. Then over in the column on the right were numbers. Big numbers.
But what about the addition? My heart was sinking fast as my eyes scanned the page. Oh, there it was. Way down at the bottom. With a little number beside it. The same number as last year.
When I looked up at my husband, I realized two things. First, he hadn’t even considered putting the extra money toward the addition. And Second, he had no idea I was counting on it.
Now, you have to understand that my husband has the spiritual gift of giving. He loves to give. It really pumps him up to be able to contribute to the advancement of the Gospel. (And as you might have guessed, I do not have the gift of giving.)
This spreadsheet could have facilitated one of those awesome moments, where you see God tangibly at work in your husband and you’re just overflowing with joy. But I didn’t allow it to be that sort of moment. Instead I chose to see the spreadsheet as tangible proof that my husband didn’t want me to have my addition–the addition that God had approved!
The exchange of words that ensued was the type to make a waitress turn around and come back after things have cooled off. I was livid! I said, “Ken do you know that it is not wrong to SPEND OUR OWN MONEY????” But he was stunned. He kept shaking his head, and repeating in a bewildered tone, “Honey, I thought we agreed that the addition was something we were saving for…”
Our dinner out ended with slammed car doors and terse silence. Ken’s enthusiasm over his gifts had turned to glum frustration. And I was fuming, knowing that my Prince Charming had a bulging wallet, and yet wasn’t going to grant my ‘happily ever after’ wish. At least not at the moment.
Ephesians 4:23 says, “The husband is the head of the wife…” and I remember Beth Moore saying that anything with two heads is a monster. Over the next few days, I realized that I was turning our marriage into a two headed, fire-breathing monster. I had been wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. And I was making everyone miserable.
As the Lord broke my heart, I repented with many tears. I asked Ken to forgive me for the way I had responded to his spreadsheet, and I tried to wholeheartedly support the way he felt God leading him to use the extra money. I even helped the kids draw pictures to go into the envelopes with the gifts for the missionaries and organizations.
Did we ever build an addition? You’ll have to keep reading… Part 4