Davis walked in the door and was met by the new normal. Dirty dishes filled the sink, half eaten pizza littered the table, the kids were arguing and Beth was hidden behind closed doors in the bedroom.
A big breath in, a deep sigh out and he was ready to continue.
He poked his head into the bedroom and was met with an unwelcome stare. Davis asked, "Are you feeling ok?"
The polite inquiry only elicited a curt answer. "I'm fine, I just need some downtime. I'll be out in a bit."
Like other nights, he quietly shut the door and squashed any lingering hope that Beth would be joining the family any time soon.
"Kids, come join me at the table. You can watch me eat cold pizza and I'll listen to you complain about your homework."
With cautious laughter and necessary solidarity, homework, dishes, devotion and an intense video game were all accomplished before bedtime.
Alone again, it was tempting for Davis to plop down in front of the TV and let a reality show usurp his own reality.
It was something that he found himself doing more and more and he didn't like it. It wasn't solving problems only pushing them down where it was going to be harder to get to, easier to ignore and apt to grow like a malignant tumor.
He didn't think it was an accident that today's Bible Verse of the Day on his smart phone was 1 Corinthians 13 - "Love is Patient, Love is Kind". Still thinking on the verse, he entered the bedroom and sat down next to his wife.
Beth glanced up briefly and swiftly returned to her book.
Taking her hand lightly in his, he waited for her to look at him. "Beth, I need your help. I find myself not being the husband that I promised to be, and I don't like it. I'm becoming short-tempered and resentful."
Now came the hard part. He paused to get control of his words and empty them of any blame. "Beth, I need you to go to the doctor so you can feel better. In turn that will help me be the husband that I wish to be. Is that something that you can do for me?"
It was Beth's turn to pause.
She closed her eyes tightly, squeezing Davis's hand unknowingly and finally looked back at Davis with shining eyes.
"How can I not do you what you ask? I know that I haven't been here for the kids. I haven't been here for you. You could have come in here and yelled about the things I haven't been doing or worse given up and asked for a divorce. Instead you kindly take my hand and then talk about your failures, not mine. You, husband, are a blessing. Yes, Davis, I will make an appointment."
Davis kissed the top of her forehead and then lifted her chin and placed a light kiss on her lips. He whispered, "Beth, don't give me too much credit. I'm imperfectly trying to remember God's Words: "Love is Patient, Love is Kind." Some days I do better than others. But every day is better when I make time to digest His Word. Thank you for not giving up on us and making the appointment. I love you, Sweetheart.