I made my husband a sandwich today. No big deal, right?
Except that it actually is kind of a big deal. At least in this house. I can’t remember the last time I made anything specifically for him. Sure, I make dinner every night, but it’s dinner for the whole family. I mean, the kids can’t make their own meal, can they?
My husband isn’t usually home for lunch due to the fact that he has a job he is required to show up for every day. He makes his breakfast and figures out on his own what he’s going to have for lunch while at work. And on the weekends, it’s every-person-for-himself around here (well sort of, the kids are still pretty young) as I generally declare Saturdays and Sundays my days off from meal preparation. It’s an opportunity to finish off leftovers and an attempt to keep the kitchen free from piles of dishes.
But today, my husband arrived home around lunchtime after working a rare 14+ hour overnight shift. I knew it had been a long, stressful fourteen hours and I figured I could at least make the man a sandwich before he crawled into bed. I couldn’t remember ever making him a midday meal before. And there’s a good chance that I never actually have.
Growing up, I remember watching my mom make lunches for my dad each night, questioning her as to why she was doing something that he could do himself. I don’t remember her answers to my questions, but I do remember vowing that I would never make lunches for any man. And apparently, I have held true to that promise up to this point.
Maybe my mom’s commitment to making lunches for my dad was a generational thing. She comes from a generation in which women were expected to take on sole responsibility for all domestic duties. Or maybe she just wanted to do something nice for her husband; a simple gesture of kindness. Whether it was out of duty or love, I do not know.
All I know is that when I presented that sandwich to my husband today, he was surprised that I had thought to make it for him, and acted as if it were the most amazing thing I had ever done. And while eating it, he declared it to be the best sandwich he has ever had (I do make exceptionally good sandwiches.) Doing something as simple as making a sandwich for my husband shouldn’t be the most amazing thing I do for him. I mean, it’s a sandwich. I took me approximately two minutes to assemble. It really shouldn’t be matter that much.
Things like making sandwiches for my husband should be the norm around here. Practicing small acts of kindness and working to nurture even the slightest of my husband’s needs should be an everyday occurrence. But apparently, it’s not. His reaction made me realize two things. The first being how much he really appreciates the small things, the easy things. The things that take little to no effort on my part, but still make him feel appreciated. And the second realization being that I clearly am not doing enough of the small things if my husband gets that excited over a simple sandwich that I made.
Maybe the small acts of service towards my husband matter just as much as the larger, seemingly more important acts of service. Maybe a sandwich says “I love you” just as much as a four course candlelit dinner.
Proverbs 31:12 says that an excellent wife does her husband good, and if making him a good sandwich is an extension of that, then I guess I’ll keep doing it. At least when he’s home for lunch. Even if he can do it himself.