Suppertime with Little Wife
On Monday, the Lord took away all of Little Wife’s cravings for drinking white wine, pink wine, red wine and everything else she drank for years. She looked at the bottles of wine and felt nothing for them, no desire, no anticipation, no comfort, not even a passing interest.
She did not tell Big Man.
The next day, the Lord took away her need for chocolate. Not a single Hershey kiss passed her lips from that day forth. No more dark chocolate nibbles in the night. No more rich hot cocoa with mini-mallows. No more milk chocolate curls on her ice cream. No more empty bottles of chocolate syrup rinsed out with a giant swig of milk.
She did not tell Big Man.
The next day, the Lord assured her that it would be best for her to not eat meat anymore. She had been getting terrible abdominal pains for several weeks which seemed to coincide with red meat consumption. She swore off surf and turf when they went out for dinner. She wasn’t feeling the Whoppers with cheese anymore, and, of course, it was best for her to skip the weekly Big Mac meal with Big Man. Even chicken and fish suddenly lost their appeal.
She surely did not tell Big Man about this.
Little Wife did have a wonderful appetite for salads and fruit and veggies and whole wheat bread and smoothies! She prepared herself healthy lunches and at dinnertime, she cooked meat meals for Big Man and was very content to fill up on yummy fresh side dishes.
“Little Wife, wouldn’t you like some of these delicious pork ribs?” Big Man had been slow-cooking them in the oven and on the BBQ all afternoon. He was very proud of his rib recipe, passed down from generations of his family and perfected in the kitchen of Big Man.
(He was also very proud of how he used all the pots and pans and baking dishes and cooking utensils to make his famous rib recipe and then threw them all into the kitchen sink with gusto. And Little Wife never complained about washing all his dirty dishes, but only grew more and more thankful for the time alone in the kitchen afterwards.)
“No, thank you, Big Man, I’m sure they’re very good, but I’m just enjoying my veggies and salad for supper tonight. These are so tasty and healthy for me. I’m on The Daniel Diet.” Little Wife sat up straight and tall. She spoke confidently about her new food choices, but felt a growing uneasiness as the silence of Big Man filled the room.
The mantle clock ticked and tocked, ticked and tocked.
When he finally spoke, it was a command, not an invitation. “Why don’t you just try one of these ribs?”
“No, I’m sorry, no thanks, you go ahead, Big Man,” replied Little Wife more quietly this time.
And it was just too much for Big Man. He jumped up from his chair with a roar and grabbed Little Wife’s plate of food and flung it like a frisbee far across the kitchen where it smashed against the wall. Mashed potatoes, little shreds of lettuce and salad dressing clung in little sad clumps to the cupboard door. Broccoli and cherry tomatoes and carrots scampered away into the pantry. The crash of the plate breaking into a million little pieces rang in Little Wife’s ear along with the howl of Big Man.
“WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? WHY AREN’T YOU EATING MEAT? WHY AREN’T YOU DRINKING WINE ANYMORE? WHY AREN’T YOU EATING CHOCOLATE ALL DAY LONG? WHAT’S GOING ON WITH YOU, LITTLE WIFE?”
And Big Man gave her a shove that sent her and her chair flying across the room into the remains of her meal, and she lay there in the messy puddle of healthy food with salty little tears running down her little face. Little Wife did not look up at Big Man towering over her. She knew this might really be the end of her now and she watched his big foot draw back to give her a giant kick in the stomach. She began to retch and choke and gag on food stuck in her throat. Her crying stopped and her breathing stopped and all was quiet and time stood still for those moments before Big Man kicked her so hard that her head smashed into the sharp edge of the wall. Then everything went black for Little Wife.
Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me; my enemies trample on me all day long,
For many attack me proudly.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you, in God, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can flesh do to me?
Chaplain’s Note: Needless to say, domestic abuse takes many forms. All abuse is wrong. It is sinful. Coercive control of a wife is subtle and yet can cause severe emotional damage. Verbal attacks and threats of violence are meant to frighten us. And sometimes those threats turn very real and a woman is severely injured by her abusive husband. But God is with us through all of these terrible acts of abuse. Trust in His faithfulness. Don’t be afraid of those who can kill the body but can’t touch your soul. Please reach out for help if this story is about you.