Friday, November 11, 2011

Want vs. Need

I want to sleep in but I need to be on time for work.

I want to go on a trip but I need to save my vacation days in case the kids get sick.

I want a new dress but I need to buy groceries.

I want another child but I need to respect my husband’s decision.

Those first three seem reasonable, don’t they? They are about responsibility: being an adult and making wise choices for our family. I have the opportunity to actively make choices: get up, go to work, buy groceries.

So why does this last one rub some people the wrong way?

When I make a choice to sacrifice my desires regarding actions or spending for the benefit of our family, I am seen as responsible. But often it seems that when I, as a wife, choose to prayerfully submit to my husband’s desires, red flags go up.

I’m afraid that assumptions are being made: that my husband is seen as domineering, not respecting me, or “putting his foot down,” when in reality, we spent months agonizing and praying over this decision.

Our pastor challenged my husband to open his heart to another child and challenged me to find peace with our current family. He opened my husband’s eyes to my youth and desire to be a mother; he opened my eyes to my husband’s age and desire to be an empty-nester.

No ultimatums were given; no timeline was set. We talked until there was nothing left unsaid and prayed until one of us felt at peace with the other’s desire.

It just so happened that that person was me.

My husband wants his wife to have the desires of her heart but needs to be done having children. I want children to love and want my husband to be at peace.

As it turned out, I was the one who could do both.

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