My husband and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary about a month ago, and in the spirit of reflection, introspection and, frankly, the opportunity to finally and ultimately vindicate myself, I'd like to tell you about our worst fight. That's the traditional gift for a 10-year anniversary, right: public vindication via a newspaper column?
Such stories of marital issues often are whispered to other third parties as a point of intrigue. As much as I would love to enthrall my readers with the details, I know that my story will leave you disappointed. In truth, I use the word worst to denote the pettiness and ridiculousness of the conflict. This fight didn't leave fissures in our marriage as some marital discourse does. No, this fight, while intense and long, was about nothing more than the seasonal offerings of those plucky young ladies in the adorable green vests.
Yes, our worst fight centered on Girl Scout cookies.
It's but once a year that these cookie shills render their wares to the hungry masses, which is why I thought my husband knew that we needed a certain number of the peppermint-flavored chocolate wafers known as Thin Mints to get us through the summer. If you've ever had a Thin Mint straight from the freezer, you know what I mean.
It was after he placed our order that he returned, unrepentant, with the information that he had ordered one box of every type of cookie - only one box of Thin Mints.
I hit the roof. How could he, I implored, when for years we ordered the same thing, over and over. We wouldn't make it through the end of May, much less the summer. He was defensive at my reaction, and I felt betrayed. We spent the next several days and nights not speaking.
It was a magnificently executed marital spat, even if it had the most ridiculous foundation. You'll be happy to know that we eventually rose above the issue and chose to stay together through the tough, Thin-Mint-less summer.
There are far more serious things to fight about, and I venture that those who've logged more anniversaries than we have might say there will be bigger issues to conquer. Regardless of the issues, Scripture offers a list of best practices that apply not only to marriages, but also to all relationships.
God's Word often compares our relationship with God to that of a marriage, and to the church he encourages unity, not division.
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." (Ephesians 4:2-3, NIV)
It means we focus on that which brought us together - God's providence and love - and not those things that would unhinge our marriage, such as in-laws, conflicting schedules and, yes, Girl Scout cookies.
As a denouement to my initial story, it was my gracious and uncommonly kind husband that has put up with my irrational convictions and has gently and patiently loved me through some of my more idiotic outbursts. He is an amazing husband and father who never fails to encourage me to deepen my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Also, he orders at least six boxes of Thin Mints each year.