Well, let me tell you, last weekend, my home search turned up a beautiful five-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath beauty – with a basement! The backyard is fenced. It has a closed-in, heated sunroom; new carpet and wood flooring; and a tiled, eat-in kitchen with loads of counter space and cabinets. (Now, for the sake of full disclosure, it was a teensy, weensy bit outside our budget. However, I was certain that hubby could use his negotiation skills to get them where we needed to be.) Oh, you should have seen the stars in my eyes! Oh, you should have heard the music! Finally, I thought. I’m pretty sure that when I first viewed the slideshow pictures of this house I was holding my breath. I think I might have cried!
Anyway, as you can imagine, I was all in. I called and emailed the listing agent. I couldn't wait to show my husband, Andrew. I had found our new house! I was elated! I was ready to order my new return address labels and start calling the utility companies. I was ready to call my girlfriends and say, “Girl! Look what the Lord has done!”
When I gushingly told Andrew the good news, he listened patiently. He smiled and nodded as I excitedly showed him the slideshow and ran my mouth a mile a minute about our awesome, new home. When I finally stopped talking long enough for him to speak, this is what he said.
“Malaika, this house is really nice, but I think it would be wise not to attempt to make this move. Even if we get the owner to decrease the asking rental price, we’d still be increasing our housing budget.” (I was frowning at this point, but still he continued.) “Honey, you can persuade me to pursue this house and do what it takes to get you into it, but I don’t think we’d be happy with the potential consequences.”
For long seconds, tight-lipped, I just stared at Andrew. Then I looked at the computer screen which was still playing the slideshow of my beautiful, new home. What in the world had I just heard? We didn't get the chance to discuss it further; a cry from the community of little people who live with us prevented us from continuing our conversation. We left the slideshow to go check on our children.
Later that night, after the children were in bed, and while my husband was bent over the laptop working on his lesson plans for the next day, the Holy Spirit was comforting my conflicted soul. In the past, this man and I used to have protracted battles of will. I wanted my way; he wanted his way. I labelled him a tyrant, rebelled at every turn, and constantly challenged his authority. Since coming into the knowledge of Christ and under the influence of the Holy Spirit, those battles are now virtually nonexistent. These days, having finally submitted to my husband’s covering and God-given authority, I very rarely make issue of anything Andrew doesn't fully endorse. But I really wanted that house! What to do?
He’d plainly told me that I could press the issue and “make” him get me that house just to please me. However, he’d also told me that doing so would likely jeopardize our household’s peace and stability. Even though I didn't like what my husband had said (who likes to be told no?), I did like how he’d said it. I felt respected by how he’d chosen to communicate his concerns for our household and felt a rush of confidence in his ability to manage our finances prudently. I felt another emotion as well, one that lends itself to flushed cheeks and due benevolence! The more I thought on it, the more Holy Spirit reminded me of how far He’d taken us from whom we used to be and encouraged me to believe that, in the fullness of time, we will become all that He desires us to be.
Andrew and I finished our conversation about our future move hugged up and leaning against the kitchen sink. I patiently listened to his plan and timeline for relocating our family. Now that I think about it, perhaps there’s a better word to describe our three-bedroom, two-bath brick ranch. I think it might be “cozy.”