Mrs. Hopeless was very excited! Her husband had told her that he was going to redecorate the living room for her over the weekend. She had waited for so long for her favourite room to get wallpapered, and was so excited as she imagined how nice it would all look and at the amount of money they would save buy doing it themselves. She was delighted that Mr. Husband had taken the initiate to do it himself – wasn’t this the ultimate way of declaring his love for her, going through so much effort just to please her?
On Friday morning, Mr. Husband rang her from work, telling her to start emptying the living room furniture, and to get the decorating stuff out from the garage as he had called a decorator in Saturday morning to do the job instead. The local handy man had phoned that morning asking if he had any jobs for him, and Mr. Husband declared that actually, yes there was! In this way, Mr. Husband felt he was giving the perfect gift to his wife – a no-fuss and quick decorating job of her favourite room. Mrs. Hopeless was terribly disappointed that he would not be doing it himself but tried to be as gracious and respectful as possible and squeaked out “lovely dear, great plan! I’ll go and get the room prepared.”
Later on in the day, her father in law stopped by and asked her what she was doing. When she let him know that a decorator was coming the next day, her father in law started to grumble. “Why can’t he do it himself? I always did all my decorating myself! That son of mine is so lazy…” Mrs. Hopeless grabbed the opportunity and gushed, “I know, it would be far better to do it ourselves, but he just wants to do it himself!” and then as she thought out a fool-proof plan, added, “Dad, why don’t you give him a call and suggest that he cancels the decorator, and we all do it ourselves?” Her father in law thought that was a very wise plan, and immediately picked up the phone.
As he started to speak to his son, a wave of guilt and panic washed over Mrs. Hopeless as she thought of the scenario at hand… what if her father in law told her husband that he thought it was best if they didn’t get a decorator over and instead did the job themselves – and added “and what’s more, your wife here agrees with me!” She thought of whispering to her father in law not to mention her name, and stopped dead in her tracks. At that moment, she realised how awful she had been. She had been so supportive of her husband’s decision to his face, but had put his decision down in front of his father. This was not respect, this was sneaky and conniving.
Thankfully, her father in law did not mention her name that day, and her husband did not change his mind about the decorator. By the end of the weekend, the living room was all decorated and there weren’t any decorating tools in sight. The couple sat together in the living room and read magazines together in their favourite sofa and all was well in the world.
Mrs. Hopeless felt so grateful that the whole scenario had ended so well, yet shuddered at the thought of what could have happened. She realised that to be a respectful wife means to respect her husband’s decisions not only in front of him but in front of other people too. If he had found out that his supportive wife was speaking badly of him to other people, he would have been extremely hurt and in future would not be open about trying out new things, nor would he be so eager to please her.
Prayers and Al Fatiha for Mrs. Hopeless.