64: The Compromise

64: The Compromise

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Wives

The Compromise

By Carol Emmons Hartsoe

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.

~Psalm 29:11

During the early years of our marriage, my husband and I often disagreed about money. Our priorities were worlds apart, and sometimes it seemed that we would never come to an agreement. Although our combined salaries were enough to get by, we never seemed to have enough money for extras, like making improvements to the fixer-upper home we lived in.

One year, we were excited to learn we would receive a sizable tax refund… and then the debate began. My husband wanted to build a large shed in the back yard to hold the lawn mower, tools and other things that cluttered our garage. As for me, I dreamed of having a nice front porch with rails all around and a swing. I imagined many hours of relaxation and enjoyment for us, our families, and our friends. It was a matter of need versus want. We had many discussions.

Each of our discussions began nicely enough. We calmly shared our ideas and stated the pros and cons for each. Still, our “discussions” repeatedly turned into heated arguments with no apparent solutions.

One Sunday morning while attending church services, I realized suddenly that I had not prayed about this problem. This tax refund was such a blessing to my family, and I had not even been thankful for it. I had been so busy trying to justify my reasons for wanting a porch, and arguing with my husband, that I had neglected to ask God for guidance.

That morning, I gave the problem to the Lord and prayed that peace would be restored to my home. I asked that I would be strong enough to accept the outcome of this dilemma, even if it did not go my way.

A few months later, we began building a shed out in our back yard. Yes, my husband got his shed. I was at peace with that, especially when he began adding a porch to it, complete with rails and a swing.

My “front” porch was actually in the back yard, although it turned out to be the perfect spot. It was near the garden and was a shady place to rest and enjoy a cool drink with my girls on hot summer days. I often sat in the swing watching them play as I shelled beans and peas. Many evenings, we also shared this spot with our neighbors as we chatted and supervised our children while they spent time together.

My husband and I have now been married almost forty years. We often think back to those earlier days and remember the joy our family has experienced, thanks to making a simple compromise. Of course, we had a little help!

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