by Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide
Last bit on Patricia….
That brings us to Lesson Three. In the back of my mind I began to wonder if the fleas might be God’s way of getting my attention concerning my lack of honor toward my husband. But I reasoned that at this point the flea thing might still, maybe, be a happenstance-just a fluke.
I agree with you, Patricia. The flea incidents were random and not divine punishment.
We had friends who put a lovely house on the market, but it was not selling. We decided to exchange fixing the house up for a decrease in the rent and live there until it sold.
This is the first and only decent financial advice in the whole book. (Assuming everyone nails down the details ahead of time….)
During the hot, dry month of August I decided to try growing grass in the dustbowl of a back yard. I asked my husband to help with the work. He agreed after some hesitation, but cautioned, “Don’t you think it’s too hot to plant grass seed?”
Yes. August is a horrible time to plant anything unless you are planning on watering daily.
I chided him, thinking, “Why does he always drag his feet?” I am sure he read my thoughts, as my face must have reflected my dishonor, but he went along with me…again. We purchased the seed and then went to a local farm to purchase bales of hay. We prepared the ground, planted the seed and spread the hay.
I’m wiling to bet good money that she bought bales of straw, not hay. Hay is dried grasses and legumes that are cut and dried while the plants are actively growing. Straw is the dried stalks of cereals after the grains have been harvested. Hay runs at least twice the price of straw.
While sitting in church the next day I noticed one of my sons scratching. He leaned over to me and said, “I think fleas are biting me.” If he had said he had leprosy it would have not affected me more than the word fleas.
Nice use of hyperbole…I hope.
It was fleas from the hay which my husband had said was a waste of time to spread. Once again my family had to endure the consequences of my stubbornness in not listening to my husband’s gentle caution.
Did I better understand submission by that time? You better believe I did. Did the grass grow? Of course not!
Divine intervention and punishment – three minor moments of “disobedience” lead to fleas. Wow.
[skipped several boring paragraphs]
It was easy to dismiss my husband’s wishes without feeling rebellious because he never actually commanded me in anything. He never lorded me over me; he has what some would call a ‘quiet voice’. He clearly wanted me to honor him, but he wanted me to honor from my heart, not from his demand. I knew, and he knew that I knew, what he wanted me to do. He wanted me to obey him.
Um…yeah. This is a great example of a marriage where some counseling and communication skills work is in order. I don’t have a problem with Patricia’s “disobedience”. She can be dismissive of her husband and that can be very toxic to a marriage. The odd thing about this story is Patricia is the person who identifies her “sin” and decides that the fleas are due to her “sin”. Jesse doesn’t seem to care much one way or the other if Patricia “obeys” him. (I suspect he’d prefer fewer fleas incidents, but that’s normal.) All of this exists in Patricia’s head – and that’s scary.
The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.
Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She’s a wise fount of knowledge about things involving living with a farmer and farming. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide