(If this blog entry had a subtitle, it would be called Marriage and The Doggie Bag.)
We started our last small group study off with the question, “What marriage advice would you give to yourself?” After reading the chapters about Joseph’s decision to love Mary sacrificially and the baby Who changes everything, marriage surfaced as a natural and deserving topic of conversation.
Words like compromise, communication, and intentionality were shared within the circle quite candidly. There was advice given we all wished we could have received in the early years of marriage, and advice the Spirit voiced to convict our hearts in our present stages of marriage.
I shared with the group my ongoing conviction not to give my family, specifically my husband, just my leftovers. And I wasn’t talking about food. Unfortunately, in our busy, multi-responsibility, technology-driven, hectic lives, we tend to serve the ones we love the most with what’s leftover, our scraps. Our I’m-exhausted, what-do-you-need-now, can’t-you-see-that-I’m-tired, here’s-your-doggie-bag scraps.
So as my stream of consciousness goes, I looked up the origin of the doggie bag. . .
Turns out the Romans thought if it first, however, Jesse Rhodes writes in Smithsonian Magazine, “The modern doggie bag came about in the 1940s. With the United States engaged in World War II, food shortages were a fact of daily life on the home front—and for the sake of economy, pet owners were encouraged to feed table scraps to their pets.”
While the doggie bag concept was born out of an economic and food shortage crisis, many of our modern day marriage problems are born out of a shortage of communication and a me-centered culture crisis. Family time shortages are a fact of daily life on the home front in our current war with technology, social media, and seemingly every form of entertainment at our fingertips.
Take it from someone who has experienced this first hand. I don’t recommend feeding your marriage your leftovers or serving your spouse the table scraps of your day.
Marriage was created by God for the purpose of providing one another a helpmate, for establishing the domestic church, modeled after the relationship shared by the Trinity. Just as we are set apart in Christ, we are called to set our spouses apart from any other earthly relationship.
Your spouse can’t live off scraps, and neither can you. Marriage and the family unit are God’s most powerful tools for His Kingdom. That’s why Satan attacks marriage in some of the most subtle ways, like convincing you it’s ok to give your spouse your leftovers.
Don’t be deceived. The doggie bag was invented for pets, not human consumption. In fact, it once was offensive to a restaurant for someone to ask for their leftover food to be boxed up for later.
Be intentional about giving your spouse the best of you, communicate often, comprise as needed, eat dinner together as you peer into each other’s hearts and minds, and skip the doggie bag. Table food isn’t good for your dog anyway!