You would’ve thought my marriage was in trouble if you’d been in my house the other day when I caught my husband using my shower gel. It’s not; I just don’t want him using my shower gel.
We’re still in transition since our move to Minnesota and are temporarily living in an apartment with a teeny-weeny little shower. Unfortunately in this shower, my shower gel sits at his eye level. I couldn’t figure out why it appeared to be evaporating until I walked into the bathroom one day while he was taking a shower.
I smelled my gel.
I waited by the shower door. I was ticked. But I needed to sniff him before I really went off. Who was I kidding? I already knew the answer. When he got out, I told him to raise his arms so I could Sniff. His. Pits . . . He wouldn’t.
Between clenched teeth: Have you been using my shower gel?
Totally oblivious to any problem: Yeah, I have. It’s great!
He smiled, leaned over and tried to kiss me on the cheek. I parried his perched lips with the edge of my hand, ninja style. (He obviously didn’t get it.)
A little louder and a little madder: Why? Why would you use my shower gel instead of your own?
“Does it matter?” he shrugged. Obviously it DOES or I wouldn’t be standing here talking about it. He continued, “You ought to be glad I’m using any soap.” As true as that might be, it wasn’t my problem.
The. Gel. Is. Mine. There’s nothing particularly special about it, except it’s mine, and I don’t want him wasting it on his body. I have to go all the way to the mall to get it. When there’s only a tiny bit left in the bottom of the container, I turn it over, give the bottom a few good whacks, add a little water, and swish so I get ev-er-y drop.
I love this man but it’s amazing how selfish I can be when it comes to my stuff. I don’t understand how I could get so bent out of shape over such minutia. But I did. And I was wrong.
Selfishness threatens harmony in relationships and can take down a marriage fast because it colors everything. It affects how we talk to each other, how we treat each other, how we resolve conflict. Selfish people keep score of who’s doing what how often in a relationship. That always leads to trouble.
Unfortunately, we’re all plagued with the selfish gene. Fortunately, we have an answer for it. Through principles taught in Scripture, we can learn how to subdue and even transform our selfish tendencies.
Christ, a model of selflessness, taught us to serve instead of expecting to be served. Put others’ needs before our own. He is the example when it comes to dying to our own desires. David is great example from Scripture. He sought his own pleasure with no regard for anyone else. His selfish desires led to adultery and eventually murder.
I’m not saying hoarding my shower gel is going to lead to actual murder. It’s not the act that’s necessarily the problem. It’s the attitude of my heart.
I wish I could say I smiled at my husband and told him he smelled great (because he did). But, I didn’t. And, too many times I don’t.
He started to realize that this soap thing was a big deal to me so he did the next best thing to buying me a new bottle of gel: He laughed and kissed me, which kind of lightened the moment and made me realize I needed to get my attitude in check.
I laughed, too, (a little) and decided shower gel (no matter how good it is) isn’t more important than him or our relationship.
How do you let selfishness affect important relationships in your life?