I grew up drinking 2% milk. Sometimes it was just good old vitamin D milk. We might on occasion drink 1% milk. But skim milk? No thanks. Isn’t that just water with some kind of milk powder in it? Is there such a thing as white food coloring in water? – because that’s what skim milk tasted like to me. I didn’t like it at all and I decided that if I was ever going to drink milk it wasn’t going to be skim.
But then I got married and guess what? I found out right away that my wife grew up drinking skim milk. To her, 2% milk was too thick and whole milk was disgusting. So she was not interested in drinking any milk that wasn’t skim. So we had a choice to make. One of us could either try to like a different kind of milk or we could buy both skim and 2% and leave them in the fridge all of the time.
Welcome to marriage! They don’t teach you this stuff before you get here. You learn as you go. I have often laughed in premarital counseling sessions when young couples think that everything is going to be pie in the sky. You find out once you are married that there are a lot of things you didn’t know about the other person. Things are going to come up and you are going to have to figure out how to resolve them. Early in marriage couples fight over the silliest things! It usually isn’t really about the issue at hand, but rather, it is that two people are trying to jockey for position in the relationship.
You see, when people live together everything about them is exposed to the other person: the fact that they are messy, or that they don’t hang up their towel in the bathroom the same way that you do. Maybe they snore. Maybe they want the thermostat at a different temperature all the time. Maybe their ideas about individual responsibilities over certain household chores are different. Maybe they are a morning person and you are a night owl.
So guess what? I started drinking skim milk. Why? Why give in? I didn’t see it as giving in. I saw it as a way to show my wife right off the bat that milk was not that important. I felt that I needed to lead the marriage. I have heard people say over the years that marriage is about compromise. I understand what they are trying to say but I don’t think that I entirely agree. If marriage is about compromise then what you are saying subconsciously is that you think the other person has moments in which they need to bend your way. That’s stinking thinking. It leads to an attitude of discontentment and resentment on those occasions when you had preset in your mind that it was their turn to do it your way.
I would rather say marriage is about sacrifice. Somewhere I remember reading that God said a relationship between husband and wife was to be like the relationship between Christ and the church. Christ exemplified his love for the church through full sacrifice. It humbles me as a husband to realize that my job in my marriage is to spiritually lead my family by loving and sacrificing in the same way that Jesus did for the church.
The rest of the story? Well, for about 20 years now I have been drinking skim milk. I still prefer 1 or 2%. But I have gotten used to skim and it’s not bad. And if the milk spills I don’t cry about it. It’s just milk.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” – Ephesians 5:25
AUTHOR: Jeremiah Tatum