A few years ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to celebrate a big anniversary in Hawaii, not only in style but at a budget price. A friend who works for an airline offered us buddy passes, saving us hundreds of dollars in airfare, and by agreeing to attend a timeshare presentation, we stayed at a luxury resort for a fraction of the usual cost.
It was both serene and surreal. We spent a week in tropical paradise, although the trip got off to a rocky start — at least it did for me.
Our first flight was from Atlanta to Los Angeles. We sat at the gate, eyes glued to the monitor, hoping and praying there would be two available seats — and there were! But as we walked down the aisle of the plane, the last people to board before takeoff, a flight attendant stopped my husband and led him back toward the front of the plane.
I panicked. Surely they hadn’t over-calculated the number of available seats? But just as I sat down in the last seat in the back of the plane, I got a quick text from my husband saying not to worry and that he was still on board.
I offered up a prayer of gratitude. We got seats for our flight and were safely on our way.
Once we landed and reunited and my husband told me what had happened, things suddenly didn’t seem quite so sunny. The airline had a special club for its best customers and one of those million milers had been on our flight. Since he was on a trip with his family and wanted to sit with them, he gave up his coveted million miler member seat and all the perks that went with it — to my husband.
While I had sat cramped in the back, munching on my small bag of complimentary pretzels, he had stretched his legs and enjoyed a veritable feast in first class. He had photographed everything to show me, but I was too annoyed to be happy for him. Really? He flew cross country in first class in the front row, and I flew in the last seat in the back. Our experience couldn’t have been more dissimilar.
I knew I had to shake it off and get a better attitude or it would ruin my mood. Thankfully I did, and now it’s one of the travel stories we love to share from our trip.
I would like to say this was an isolated incident, the one time I offered jealousy a seat at our table (or on our airplane), but it wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last. It’s easy for me to get caught up in my feelings and forget marriage is meant to be a partnership, never a competition. As spouses, we should always have each other’s best interests at heart.
1 Corinthians 13:4-6 says, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.”
If you feel a prick from your own conscience, don’t worry; you and I are not alone. The Lord knows human nature can interfere with our best intentions. His instruction can be easier to understand than to follow.
Loving our husbands won’t always be easy. If you find yourself in a place where you are displeased with your spouse more than you are delighted by him, if you’re more likely to compete with him than commiserate with him (Do you debate which of you had the worse night’s sleep or sorer muscles? Do you try to win every disagreement? Are you jealous of him when things go his way instead of yours?), or when you simply know you aren’t loving him the way God intended in marriage, take heart.
Embrace the promise of a new day and a new attitude. Ask the Lord to help you love your husband when he’s less than lovable (and vice versa). Rejoice in each other’s successes because when one wins, you both win. You’re on the same team, called to love one another well.
Ruth Mills says
This is such a true encouragement! Why do we tend to forget this & need reminding? We’re in a season of my husband being extremely busy with his career & extra church responsibilities that are like another 80 hour full time job. Not seeing him as much I am striving to make our home the respite he needs & not add anything else to his plate. However I’ve been dealing with a pinched nerve in my neck (they think from coughing!) so am hurting 24/7. He expresses because I am in pain so is he. We aren’t always so in sync but remembering to work toward that is a big help. Knowing it is God who enables us is key! Thanks for the reminder!
Dawn Camp says
Ruth, I love your description of being in sync. I pray your pain goes away soon!
Ariel Krienke says
Such a great message. Especially in today’s culture where men are told to follow women. Thanks for the message.
Dawn Camp says
You are so welcome, Ariel!
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Dawn thank you for your words of wisdom to do with Marriage and all you said. It speaks to me brilliantly. As sometimes my Husband annoys me with the things he doesn’t do. My Husband says back to me. But you expect me to say this way or say that way not to forget it’s not just sorry. What are you sorry for. When I tell him for not doing it right or thinking of me. It’s not that my Husband doesn’t care it just that he does not think at times. Goes to see to his needs first at times. I get annoyed especially I know I am wrong to get annoyed so easily. Especially if I seem to be doing everything. But I do have to my Husband his due. He does the hoovering of the house and puts on washes for us two and put them out. He so good and even I do get annoyed with him for thinking of himself at times first. He always says joking your the boss not me. But I wouldn’t change you never I love you to much. Your saying at the start of this reading were you say Marriage is a partnership. Not a competition. How true that is. As it says in the Bible somewhere. I can’t remember the exact words. That when you get Married you both become one flesh. Not to different people with to different fleshs. How true that is. So it a Partnership. With both working together. Helping either. Me learning not to get so easily annoyed with my Husband. Because he just doesn’t think. Thinks of himself first. He means no harm by it. God has said to me through this reading today. To not let it get to me as easily. Then take it out on my Husband. I am to realise he is human. It not that he does not care about me he does he not perfect. He will never be. He can’t remember everything. So God said go a bit easier on him and love him mistakes and all. As none of us are perfect never will be. So stop giving of to him as much. So I have to work on that with God’s help. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little xx
Dawn Camp says
Yes, we are all imperfect humans. Blessings to you and your marriage!
BC from BC says
Thank you for this story. It hit a nerve in me. I agree with marriage needs to be a partnership, yet as I read your story, and don’t know all the details, why didn’t he offer you the seat, or if he couldn’t why would he leave you to sit by yourself? I am glad all worked out for you, but for some of us, that would really hurt. However, I live with a narcissist and that’s what they would do. I believe God wants a harmonious, unselfish an serving each other relationship, to be kind, considerate, loving and thoughful. I pray for marriages all over the world, to include God in every step.
Dawn Camp says
Hello, BC (my husband is a BC too!). He didn’t have a choice about the seats. We flew standby and were fortunate to get two on the same flight; we didn’t expect to sit together. We boarded at the last possible moment, no time to discuss or rearrange. He didn’t know where they were taking him. My husband always puts me (or our children) first, but he got the perks this time. 🙂
Diane Bailey says
What a wonderful trip!
Sometimes we get God’s blessings. Sometimes we get to eat humble-chips in coach!
Either way, God knows what will draw us closer to him in the moment.
Great story! Love you, friend.
Dawn Camp says
Diane, I love your point of view! xoxoxo
Nancy Ruegg says
You showed a great deal of maturity, Dawn, to let go of your resentment over your husband’s seat in first class! Thank you for the wise reminders you included in this post. This tendency toward competition is another one of those rough spots that the sandpaper of marriage works to remove! And God has provided the way in those verses of 1 Corinthians 13 that you quoted. Thank you, Dawn!
Dawn Camp says
Thank you, Nancy! It shouldn’t have been so hard to let it go, but I was so jealous!
Actually, although I’m sorry that you were left with your bucket seat, doesn’t God just have a sense of humor?
Boys will be Boys!!!
Beth Williams says
You hit the nail on the head with this post. It is so easy to get upset over stuff. My hubby & I both work full time in stressful medical jobs. We come home tired & worn out. Often times I am the one to get annoyed when he hasn’t done what I expected or asked of him. It comes down to being tired & needing help around the house. Thankfully we don’t stay mad long. We usually sit down & discuss the day/week we had. Always ask for forgiveness which is freely given.
One writer put it this way “do you expect of or for your husband?” I’ve been trying my best to expect for him. Asking God to bless him & his work. Even sent him a nice text telling him how much I appreciate all he does for us. After all marriage is a team effort.