When the spider dropped in front of me, I killed it.
Part of me hates doing this.
Spiders don’t hurt anyone. In fact, they serve a good purpose—they kill other insects.
Personally, I have nothing against spiders.
But they can make webs. And they bother Lisa. She hates them.
So I kill them.
Because I’m married to Lisa, I’ve made a prior commitment that her feelings outweigh mine on a lot of matters, and spiders are one of them.
I don’t re-think this every time I see a new spider; because of Lisa, because I’m married to her, it’s already decided: if I see a spider in the house, I kill it so she doesn’t have to.
If Lisa’s dad had been an alcoholic (he certainly wasn’t), I’d kill all alcohol use in my life. I don’t have a “theological” problem with alcohol, but that wouldn’t matter; out of love for Lisa, if she was “sore” toward the potential devastation of alcohol abuse, I wouldn’t want her to worry. I’d just kill alcohol use and avoid it altogether.
If Lisa and I were on our second marriages and Lisa’s first marriage had been destroyed by excessive video game playing, I’d kill that too. I’d just think, “She’s going to be especially sensitive to that. Every time I pick up a joystick, it’s going to resurrect a lot of bad feelings from her past. Rather than ask her to ‘reset’ those deep-seated anxieties, I think it’s best if I just kill that part of my life.”
The pursuit of marital intimacy requires agreeing to kill certain “spiders” that bug our spouse, just because they bug our spouse.
These spiders may not be prohibited by Scripture. They may not be inherently wrong. But if they cause our spouse pain, that’s good enough reason to kill them.
Do you know what your husband’s or wife’s “spiders” are? When you find them, do the loving thing: hunt them down and kill them.
A question to lead off the discussion: of course it’s possible to take this too far, so how can we discern a spider that should be killed and a spider our spouse is just going to have to learn to live with?
[photo: Creative Commons, www.FranceHouseHunt.com]