We had a bone of contention in our marriage for about a decade.
I wanted a minivan and I wanted one with all my heart and soul and mind.
My husband felt like a minivan would be the stamp of death upon his heart and soul and mind.
And so it went for years and years.
Two years ago I started a new job and said, “I’m getting a van, good sir.” My good sir saw the fire in my eyes and the actual money from my paycheck and finally gave in. Also, it helped that our car at the time was a pitiful wreck, full of melted crayons and smashed goldfish crackers and a transmission that was about to die.
We found the perfect van for our family and budget and I gloried in it for two years. I put the seats down and hauled home furniture. I put the seats up and hauled around people. We took it on vacation and stuffed it full of all manner of junk.
But after some time, I had more trouble than I cared to admit. I was afraid to back it out of the garage because the dang van is a bit too wide and I knew I was running the real risk of ripping off a mirror. One day, while carefully monitoring the mirror, I got too close to the lawn mower and ran that over instead.
It’s almost fine. Barely crushed at all.
We will not discuss how I now park waaaaay far out in the store parking lots, simply because I’m not skilled enough to fit it into narrow spaces next to other cars.
And lately I find myself alone in a huge, room sized vehicle. The kids are in school and are far too old for car seats and strollers and all the other things that make minivans delightful. I mean, I guess I could have a few more kids and then fill the minivan back up, but I don’t think that’s the real solution I’m looking for, here.
And so, I looked my husband in the eye and said, “It’s time to sell this thing.”
To his everlasting credit, he didn’t laugh at me. He didn’t smirk, or giggle, or even say I told you so.
He did, however, immediately pull up the car listings on the internet and start looking for a new vehicle.
This whole example feels a little silly, but it’s a beautiful thing to offer grace to a spouse. To give in and let her have the thing she’s wanted for a long time, no matter how much you hate it.
To humbly admit to him that the thing you wanted for so long isn’t as glorious as you thought it would be.
To not mock her when she says she’s actually like to drive the ancient Corolla instead of the roomy van.
To not say a single word about the wobbly wheel on the crushed lawnmower, even.
Grace, minivans, marriage.