Ok, so I learn life lessons best from stories. Maybe it’s the “inner child” in me or whatever, but I do. Read on…
The other night about 10 minutes after putting the kiddos to bed, Val and I were in the middle of talking (a feat in itself when you have small kids) in the living room, when I hear the all too familiar sound of the kid’s bedroom door opening, and Ben running through the kitchen. He comes running into the living room, looking like he had seen the Loch Ness Monster come out of his closet and say hello. “DAD! There’s a…there’s a….there’s a BIG thing on my wall, and I think it’s like a S-S-P-IDER!!” (he’s saying all this in a hoarse whisper complete with lower lip quivering). I look at Val and give a half eye roll, and head down to his room, expecting to see a dust bunny or something hanging off his wall. I arrive at his room, and there on the wall, right by his window sill, is a very LARGE, very NASTY looking spider staring back at me. Now I’m not terrified of spiders, but saying that I “don’t mind them” is a vast understatement. This thing is about 2 inches wide (with legs included), and is brown and hairy. I look around for something to whack the thing with, and seeing nothing, remember there is a fly swatter hanging in the laundry room. I quickly say something up beat like “Oh wow! That is a big spider isn’t it? It must be a daddy!” to the kids, and head post-haste for the fly swatter. Grabbing it off the hook on the wall, I now turn back to the kids room, hoping the spider is still where I left it. I see it is still there, and start walking s-l-o-w-l-y towards it, fly swatter poised and ready. WHACK! Score! I have managed to at least stun the beast, and it is now on Ben’s bed, curled up in a ball. I proceed to give it a few more full blows with my plastic club, and it seems to be dead. I proceed to use the fly swatter like a spatula, and begin to carry it towards the bathroom, where I flush it down the toilet.
I head back to the bedroom to get the kids settled down again, and after doing a full inspection of the room, to “make sure” there are no more spiders in the bedroom, I tell Ben that I ‘m going the call the “bug guy” tomorrow, and have him spray the house for bugs. That seems to make him happy, and after answering 5 random` questions about what the bug guy drives, why the spiders don’t stay outdoors, and who the bug guy is, I get him to go back to bed.
The “bug guy” is the local pest control business in town, and I usually have them come out about twice a year, and spray the outside of the house to keep the bugs/spiders from getting indoors. I had been putting it off for money reasons, and even though I had seen more spiders in the house than normal lately, I was still being slow about making the call, and spending the money. It’s funny how my attitude changed when I found a large spider about a foot away from where my son’s head is when he is in bed. I didn’t care if I had the money or not at that point, I just knew I had to get it done for the well-being of my kids.
Isn’t that how us guys treat our marriage sometimes? We know there are a few things we need to work on, a few “spiders” have been getting in lately, but we convince ourselves that it’s ok, and we “don’t have the money” to buy flowers, or go to dinner with our wives, or we are “too busy” to discuss important issues, or really listen to her for a while, after we put the kids to bed. We don’t realize how the longer we let things go, the more the “spider barrier” in our marriage breaks down, and the easier it is for the relationship to break down. We put more care into lawn work and keeping the house looking nice, than we do into building the relationship with the person that God put in our lives as our mate! We can’t let this happen guys! Be PRO-active in your relationship with your wife! Always be on the offence – looking for anything that would try to work its way in and destroy the closeness and trust in your relationship. Let’s step it up guys! Quit settling for “ok”, get off the couch, and be the MAN and Husband that God wants you to be!
Oh, and watch for spiders. They’re nasty.