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The setting on the thermostat is an ongoing battle in our house. My husband is consistently warmer than I am, and wants the setting much cooler than my comfort zone. I appease him, most of the time, except this morning. The house was a chilly 62 degrees. Sometime during the night, he turned off the heater even though the outside temperature was below fifty.
During the ensuing discussion, I was less than charitable in both thoughts and words.
This was actually an indication of a deeper personal issue. My parents raised me to put the needs, and comfort of others first. Then, my abusive first husband forced this to the extreme. Thanks to therapy, I found a better balance, but as every woman knows, society still demands we play the part of the appeasers. If we want to make others happy, we need to be solicitous of their feelings and needs, always. Add in motherhood and we take this even further.
I do have days when I imagine what it would be like to do something I wanted, without weighing everyone's opinions and needs first. But that would be selfish, right?
When struggling with an issue, my first impulse is always to turn to my devotions. My first reading this morning: “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” John 13:34.
After reading the accompanying meditation, I realized Jesus loved us enough not only to die for us, but also to tell us the truth. It is the deception that causes most of my anger, not putting others needs before mine.
In order to appease others, especially my husband, I tell small lies, saying, “Sure, I’d love to,” when in reality I am fuming because I never speak up and suggest a compromise. Instead, I appease, swallow my preferences, and feed the volcano.
I need to love others, as Jesus did, patiently and unselfishly with charity and honesty, and not merely to merely appease someone else.