Monday, May 3, 2010

Cost Benefit Analysis and Marriage

Intrigued yet?  I hope so.  I was in the bathroom getting ready for church when I discovered that my straightening spray was missing in action.  The previous day, Daniel had cleaned the bathroom.  And I knew. that something happened.  Intuition.  It's a woman thing.  Here is where we get to the heart of the story.  The lady at Great Clips cut all my layers mid curl.  Without the straight iron, well, my head turns into a big bush.  The straightening spray helps make the ironing easier.  And I was pressed for time with no spray in sight. 

I know you can figure out how the marriage part applies, but what about the Cost Benefit Analysis?  Let's start with a web definition - Cost benefit analysis is an analysis of the cost effectiveness of different alternatives in order to see whether the benefits outweigh the cost. In the case of marriage, what is the effectivness of an action taken.  Do the benefits of any said thing outweigh the future ramifications?

Let's take my straightening spray example.  I was running late.  My hair did not want to lay flat.  Even the 180 degree iron was having a hard time taming the bushiness that had sprung out of my head.  Did I mention I was late?  I searched all over the bathroom. There was no sign of the spray.  I came to the conclusion that Daniel tossed it.  I was fairly certain that I had one more use out of the bottle.  And if not, I planned on putting in an ounce of water to stretch it a little further.  But I digress.  Stressed, late, bushy headed me, well, I was getting a little perturbed.  Just a little....

Then I started thinking.  If I let this get to me, what will be the cost?

It's a given that I would have a harsh conversation with Daniel.  I would be ticked for the next few hours.  And more importantly, Daniel would probably never again clean the bathroom.  And that sealed it for me.  First and foremost, I don't like being mad. It makes me feel bad.  I don't like it.  But then, my complaining over a simple thing would take the blessing that Daniel bestowed and make it seem worthless.  And since I love him and I love what he did for me, weighed my options and decided to not worry about it.

What about ignoring the hurt without thinking of Daniel's motives?  I could have carried that aggravation without venting.  I could have let it seed some resentment.   And we all know how resentment grows and mutates into anger and loathing.  A simple little, nearly empty bottle of spray could have been the spark of a future argument.  Again, this would make Daniel's blessing to me seem worthless.  He may not connect my attitude to the spray, but holding in a hurt never contains it.  Eventually it comes out. 

Or, I could see his heart.  He did something nice for me.  I knew the bottle was close to empty. He had no idea I would be running late or that I was going to add some water in.  And as I'm doing my hair, I see this wonderfully clean sink and mirror in front of me.  And I'd love to see him clean the bathroom or any other room in the house in the future...

But the spray bottle incident is just one thing.  So often we get caught up in how things are not done to our expectations.  Sometimes it's warranted, but many times it's not.  If I had not weighed the costs of a harsh tongue, would I have focused on Daniel doing a loving act for me? Nope.  Would I have plotted out the future ramifications? Nope. Would I have done some damage to our relationship?  Most certainly yes.  How many blessings do we lose out on because we place more importance on stuff than people?  And how much more discord do we sow by failing to see the good in those around us?

In James 1:19-20, we are told to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to be come angry because our anger does not bring about righteousness.  So this week, I hope that you see through your initial reactions and listen to the heart of those around you.

And if you hubby decides to clean the bathroom, be blessed by it!

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