As of the time I published this post, it was over one month. One month that I have had no running water in my house. We live in a rural area and there is no such thing as “city water.” Water comes to houses by having a well drilled on your property. That was a new experience for me growing up in California suburbia.
I turn a faucet on and water magically came out. It just…always did.
Until over four weeks ago. That is when my well failed and was no longer usable. And so we are scheduled to have a new well drilled on our property soon.
Life taken…for granted
Amazing all the things I can take for granted. Hot showers, getting a drink of water, brushing my teeth. They just happen. I admit the first week was a bit stressful trying to get accustomed to a new norm. I have a gracious neighbor who allows me to fill water jugs to make the essentials happen. We have a good friend who invites us over for “anytime showers.” We found out there is a nice laundermat close to work.
Never saw that before now.
But this is not a story about the wonderful benefits of having running water in my house. But it prompted a discussion between my wife and I that was a valuable lesson for me.
When all of this went down, I really did not want to start being anxious about the situation, my first-world water problems, or which of my field cats I was going to have to sell on eBay to help fund a new well.
I wanted to trust God and He gave me great peace.
The problem was that I did not communicate an urgency to my wife of the “top tier-ness” of this situation. Though I felt confident that I was making the right calls to people and helping to keep our daily lives moving forward, I failed to communicate a sense of high importance or necessity to my wife.
Married dudes out there, we must learn from each other and quit making the same errors over and over. After 28+ years of marriage, I have come to realize that the requests of my wife or needs that I observe are not and can not be added to my already full “to do list” of what needs to get accomplished on any given day.
Like I feel good about “slotting her into my schedule.”
Our home is a place of security and protection for me. It is my chill zone and a place to hang with family and friends. But to my wife, though it is all of these things as well, it is also something more. It is her “nest.”
How do I best live with my wife?
We had “some words” that night as I felt justified that I was moving things forward. “If I call today or tomorrow on (X), what difference does it make?” What I came to realize though is that I was not viewing this situation through her lens, and it was a very different view.
I have thought through I Peter 3:7 many times throughout my marriage:
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way…
That means I need to be a lifelong student of my wife. Know her inclinations and what makes her tick. Pour time into her so that I know best how to speak with her and do for her. Discover what charges her up and what discourages her. Understand what she values more than other things.
And as I tell other guys, I have learned that I show love to my wife – not by adding her to what already has to be done – but by making her a totally separate and top-tier priority. She is not valuable among all the other people and things that I value – she is her own category.
Our talk that night ended well and repentance and grace were the fast track to reconciliation. But I received a valuable and very relevant reminder through my water (or lack thereof) situation. And the lesson was this: my wife’s need are my needs. That is part of what a one-flesh union is all about. But even more so, part of providing security to my wife and showing her value is by deeming what is important to her as important to me. To reassure, to communicate, to esteem.
God does not waste anything – circumstances or situations – in helping us take on more and more the likeness of Jesus (Romans 8:28). Even needing a new well. He allows us to walk through similarly-themed-but-with-a-new-twist situations to help us view our lives with new perspectives and through fresh lenses.