What would you think of a spouse who held something in their hand that their spouse desperately wanted, and that the spouse holding it didn’t even really need, but out of carelessness, malice or apathy the spouse holding it refused to hand it over? Sounds awful, doesn’t it? Is it possible that we're that spouse?
Good Withheld is Love Poured Out on the Ground
Older readers will remember the iconic scene from the movie The Three Amigos when Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, and Martin Short are trudging through the desert. Steve Martin opens his canteen and desperately sucks down about a tablespoon of water. Martin Short gets a mouthful of sand from his canteen. Chevy Chase has a full canteen and drunks lustily, water running down his mouth; he spits some out (not once, but twice) and then tosses the canteen to the ground, as his two parched companions look at the precious water dribbling onto the desert floor.
What makes The Three Amigos scene so funny is not just spitting out the water or wasting it on the desert floor — it's Chevy’s amazing cluelessness to his companions' desperate thirst.
There are a lot of "thirsty" spouses out there and many are married to husbands and wives who share Chevy's cluelessness, just spitting out onto the ground something that their spouse feels that they desperately need
One of the great Christian traps in marriage is to define our excellence as spouses by what we don't do: I don't get rough with my spouse, I don't gossip about my spouse, I don't yell at my spouse, I don't cheat on my spouse...
Proverbs 3:27 takes love to a whole new level, telling us that excellence is found in what we do do, not what we avoid.