I am pretty much an easy going guy. Most people that know me would say that I don't have a short fuse, hot head, or any other slang for somebody that gets mad and yells a lot. I can probably count on one hand the people in my entire life that I have just really really not liked.
I have an enemy. Not just an enemy, NAY! A nemesis! Like Khan to Captain Kirk. Like Lex Luther to Superman. Like the Acme corporation to Mr. Wile E. Coyote. I have an enemy...
The wobbly plate.
Jenn and I still use the same plain black dishes that I bought from Wally World when I was in my first year of graduate school. There are good reasons we still use those old black dishes. For starters, we could never agree on the dishes we wanted to register for. We knew ourselves well enough to know we didn't want any fine china to sit on a shelf. And of course, there is pure economics - we just don't want to spend money to buy new dishes.
The black dishes are nice, functional dishes. They are, well, black. Black goes with everything thing, right? And they hold food. So I guess you could say they do everything a plate should do. But oh, there is one. One diabolical, eeevil plate - the wobbly plate!
The wobbly plate wobbles. The bottom is just a little bulgy and so when you try to eat on it, it wobbles. Try to cut something - wobble. Try to scoop something - wobble. Look at it with pure hate burning in your eyes...... - wobble! It is annoying. It is awful. It is - my sworn enemy.
This is how I know my wife loves me - she takes the wobbly plate. We put it on the bottom of the stack of plates, but we almost always get to it a couple times a week, and that happened just the other night. I had it there, wobbling in front of me. Mocking me. Laughing at me. Talking plate smack. I shook my fist (literally, I shake my fist at it!) and said "Wobbly plate!" Then Jenn said something amazing, "oh, I always try to make sure that I get that one, lets trade."
That's how I know my wife loves me. She takes the wobbly plate. Evan knows Daddy loves him because Daddy shares his bacon. Jenn knows her husband loves her because he comes home from work and takes Evan for a long walk so she can have "mommy time." I know Jenn loves me because she takes the wobbly plate.
I had a friend, who was once a traveling speaker, and now a pastor, named Art Mace. Art used to stand in front of churches and say, "I am here to confess to you that I beat my wife." People would gasp and swoon, and then he'd finish, "I beat her to the dishes. I beat her to the vacuum cleaner. I beat her to the trash." Jenn and I love each other, and so it is only natural that we serve each other. We put the other in front of ourselves.
And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
- Deuteronomy 10:12-13
- Deuteronomy 10:12-13
How do we measure relationships? We measure them with love, which is lived out in service. Here's the most amazing thing - its "for [our] own good!"
My relationship with my family is for my own good. My relationship with God is for my own good!
So husbands, beat your wives. Wives, beat your husbands. Children, beat your parents! Lets all beat each other in a great race to serve and love. Let's direct all that love from God back to God, and to each other, and to a world that so badly needs love.
Let's take the wobbly plate for our neighbor because we love them. Its for your own good!