By Dr. James L. Snyder
Having been married as long as The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and myself, there are very few things we disagree.
I run by the idea, “Do you want to be happy, or do you want to be right?” That has guided me through many a storm these past years.
Almost every day, I come across somebody having difficulty getting along with their spouse. My counseling has been consistent through the years, “You don’t always have to be right.”
That’s what causes a lot of problems in relationships. People are obsessed with being right about everything, even when wrong. It doesn’t cost a person a lot to give in, even when they might be right. Our relationship has been very calm except for a few bumps.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is what I call a Vegetable Freak, whereas, on the other side of the kitchen table, I’m just a Freak.
If my wife doesn’t get her daily dose of vegetables, she can become quite anxious. However, when I get my daily dose of vegetables, I also become anxious but in the other direction.
The king on her vegetable table is broccoli. Just the sight of broccoli is very offensive to me. I never had broccoli when I was growing up, and I’m not going to have broccoli until I die.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is very focused on her broccoli diet. If a day goes by that, she has not had broccoli, I have not seen it yet. Often I use broccoli as a bargaining chip for my favorite food, Apple Fritter.
From my point of view, and it’s only mine, the Apple Fritter makes up for Eve’s apple blunder in the Garden of Eden. That is my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Probably, the biggest controversy we have, which has been with us ever since we were married, has to do with snoring. But, for some reason, I know not why, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage assumes that I snore every night.
Often in the middle of the night, I will feel a sharp elbow in my Adam ribs and hear somebody say, “Stop your snoring.”
For the life of me I have no idea what she’s talking about.
She will confront me in the morning over breakfast with the idea that I snore at night. With a very quizzical nod, I just tried to forget that complaint. I know that I don’t snore at night.
“You know how miserable it makes me to hear you snoring all night?”
I return her quizzical look and tell her that I don’t know what she is talking about. I stayed up one night and never heard myself snore. For some reason, she has the idea that snoring is bad for your health.
“Don’t you know it’s not healthy to snore at night like you do?”
I kept my response to myself, but if snoring is not healthy, how come everybody does it? I don’t want her to hear me say that for various reasons.
I’m not sure about the health damage snoring does to a person. If I had been snoring all these years, according to her, how come it has not affected my health?
One night I got up and went to the kitchen to get a drink of water. Then, walking down the hallway to the bedroom, I heard this raspy noise. As I got to my bedroom, here it was, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage snoring. I only regret that I did not tape that incident because it would have been worth a lot to me.
When we got up in the morning, I was chuckling, and looking at me, she said, “Why are you laughing?”
Do I tell her, or do I pass it off? Being who I am, I actually did tell her.
She glared at me and said most vocally, “I do not snore, and I don’t want to hear you tell me that ever again.”
I chuckled inwardly and was waiting for some excuse to tell her again.
Then I saw it. A little Facebook report said that contrary to what people have believed, snoring is a very healthy thing for your body. According to this investigation, the bigger you are, the more you need to snore.
In sharing this new information with my wife, she was not very sympathetic. “That cannot be right,” she said most defiantly. “Snoring is not healthy.”
Then I showed her the story and even read it, and she did not want to believe it. I looked at her and said, “It must be true because it’s on Facebook.”
Looking at me she said, “You believe everything you read on Facebook?”
“Well,” I said as soberly as possible, “I believe this one for sure.”
Not knowing what to say, she just turned around and walked away, mumbling something I couldn’t understand.
When we went to bed that night, I looked at her and said, “I’m going to have a very healthy night tonight.”
She didn’t smile, but I did.
As I drifted off to la-la-land, I thought of a scripture. Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
It is quite rare when two people agree on everything. It is important that we agree on the right things. We can have our difference but there are crucial issues where we must agree. Every relationship is based on discovering those issues and committing ourselves to them.