The Man and I sit at opposite sides of the table from one another and I smile big and broad at him. It’s the weekend and Sunday is prime real estate for flirting. This may be too much information for you, but in the spirit of transparency, Sunday afternoon lends itself to all shades of flirting and so I flirt over last night’s leftovers.
He makes eyes at me while the kids roll theirs and then asks the question he asks every Sunday: “How was the sermon?”
I skip over his questioning, pretending I can’t hear him, and I mention how the color of his shirt brings out the color in his eyes. “You’re one hunk of a man and I’m one lucky lady,” I say. “And those jeans, I mean, really? Can they accentuate your best asset any better?”
He chokes on his General Tso’s chicken and I laugh out loud. This is fun and he knows I’m messing with him.
“I’m not going to say what I thought of your sermon,” I say. “Every week I tell you what I think of your sermon and every week we talk it to death. I’m done.” I wink at him for good measure. “Today, I’m just your wife and I think you’re one amazing man.”
“But if no one tells me, how am I supposed to know how to improve? How am I supposed to get any better?” he asks. His face is flushed and I know I’ve rattled his cage.
I shrug my shoulders. ” I don’t know, but I’m done with being your critic. I want to be your wife,” I say. “I want to look at you with the same eyes that see you on a Saturday night. No more critiquing.”
He says nothing, but I know he’s heard me. We’re the only ones left at the table.
Actually, I’ve been more than good at it. I have been the tell-the-truth-and-let-the-Lord-love-you wife to this man since 1997. I mean I tell the truth, in love, and then some.
But today I quit.
I quit because I’m tired of the knock down-drag out conversations that come with the soft critiques. I quit because when I knit pick his sermon delivery I lose the man I crawl into bed with on Saturday night. I quit because my words weigh heavy and cut deep and count more than anyone’s words.
And I quit because at the end of the day, he is still my husband and I am still his wife and his delivery of a sermon on Sunday morning should have no bearing on our Sunday evening.
The entirety of my husband’s life is subject to critique and as his wife, I choose to love him as is, no critique necessary.