Every couple struggles with the challenge of who is going to do the task both “hate”. The particular issue in question varies. For some it is as simple as taking out the garbage. For others, the challenge lies in reservations, flights, or what to do on Saturday night. I thought that the challenge, with time, would get easier. After twenty five plus years of facing the question in a myriad of ways, I don’t think it ever changes! Even something as simple as washing the car is a sensitive subject. Why does this activity always seem to be a masculine task?
For a brief time I actually thought I was alone in my struggle. It turns out that Cherry has the same questions with me! As much as I might look for a break in washing the cars, I care about how it is done. So I am the right person for the job. On the other hand I will never clean the inside of a car like Cherry can and does! She is fantastic in the role. And it isn’t just our relationship. Every guy I talk to has a list of their own honey-do list of tasks that always seem to end up in their stack.
It would be easy to keep score. You take on one task, I another, then you, and then…can we pass the baton to someone else? Yet I find myself wondering aloud if I have missed a significant opportunity. Why am I in a relationship? What are the questions really about? How do the values and priorities I hold dear relate to the choice in the present?
It is hard to realize that some tasks rest with me simply because I am there. During dinner, “Peter motioned to him [John] to ask who Jesus might be talking about. So, being the closest, he said, ‘Master, who?’” (John 13.24, 25) It was simply a matter of time and place.
In each moment there is an opportunity for compassion, mercy, and acceptance. We can be the difference. If not then who?
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