May 17, 2021
You have set a boundary that they may not pass over, that they may not return to cover the earth – Psalm 104:9
“Debra, you can’t have a bite of my sandwich.”
My husband, John, and I experienced a wonderful day last week. We were spending quality time together – just the two of us – riding, listening to 90s R&B, and just enjoying each other’s company. We were out of town, so we stopped by a restaurant that we don’t have easy access to in our hometown.
When we got there, John asked if I wanted something to eat. I wasn’t that hungry so I said that I didn’t want anything.
At this point, he looks me square in the face with complete seriousness and says, “Debra, you can’t have a bite of my sandwich”. I knew he was serious when he called me by name because he always calls me “bae” or “sweetheart”.
Y’all, I hollered. I laughed about this for the rest of the day. Mind you, I had him order something separate for me, but I still laughed because he was so serious.
See, these are the marital boundaries that you don’t talk about in couples counseling, but I bet my marriage isn’t the only one that has faced this hurdle. I can’t be the only one who has said that they weren’t hungry, or ordered something different than your husband, only to ask him for a bite of his entree when the food arrives.
I realized the mentality behind this food conundrum is “what is yours is mine”. We have been taught that we have a right to whatever our spouse has, and that is not completely true. Yes, we share a lot of things – our space, our money, and even our bodies – but that doesn’t mean that either spouse has lost their individual rights. My spouse has not lost the right to enjoy a sandwich just because we are married. I don’t have the right to make him feel that he has to “give me a bite” just because I changed my mind.
John established a boundary with me. It wasn’t disrespectful or mean. He made it clear before I had the opportunity to cross it, so that there wasn’t any confusion. You may think this is simple or not even a big deal, but I want you to know that these little boundaries will save time, energy, and arguments down the road. You don’t just need boundaries around your marriage. You need boundaries within your marriage.
Now, don’t get me wrong, husbands and wives should share things. John shares so much with me all the time – including food. The point I’m making here is that when our husbands provide for us, ask us what we want, and then get it for us, we should not then try to take what they got for themselves.
It goes way beyond food.
Some of us would think that John was wrong for not sharing his sandwich, but he wasn’t. He provided a way for me to have my own, and I took it. That made for an amazing rest of the day for us.
I suggest you take the way of wisdom as well.
Have you and your husband ever had this conversation? How do you handle it? I’d love to hear!
Oh, and we are discussing practical wisdom for marriages in Believing Wives Bible Study this week. Simple things like what you have read in the blog today. Why don’t you join us this Tuesday at 7pm EST. Just us this link. See you there!