Shalom in the Home

Shalom in the Home

My husband’s allergic to bureaucracy. So if an errand involves a bank or a government office, I take over.

I, on the other hand, am allergic to conflict. So if someone needs to stand up to a clerk at the aforementioned government office or bank, my husband takes over.

And while I don’t mind taking over for my husband while ordering check books or attaining birth certificates, for as long as I can remember I have been kicking myself for having to turn to my husband to fight our family’s battles with the outside world.

So I loved this quotation that my friend Yoni Schlussel shared with me last week.

“Shalom exists when each [spouse] recognizes his or her relative strengths and weaknesses and the relative strengths and weaknesses of others, contributing their strengths to cover for the weaknesses of others and accepting the strengths of others to cover for their own.” — Rabbi Shraga Neuberger, Klal Perspectives

In other words, there is need to feel lame when we need to ask our spouses for help. And there is no justification to feel resentful when our spouses need our help with something that’s difficult for them.

Shalom requires accepting that no person is perfect, but together we can come pretty close.

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2 comments

  1. It used to bother me that I had to do the banking. But then I realized that for me it’s simple, and for my husband it’s such an effort.
    On the other hand, it’s nothing for him to sort the laundry after Shabbos, whereas for me it’s so overwhelming that I can barely face it. So I gratefully accept his help in this area.

    I like the idea of “covering for the weaknesses of others”, which has the connotation of acceptance and love. Not accusing them or blaming them for being inept.

  2. Wow! This was so helpful and very true. Thanks for posting it!

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