Recently I was working on an ah-mazing blog post about marriage. I was listing some creative ideas for keeping the home fires burning. You know, stuff like, “Leave notes in his briefcase or lunchbox for him to find during the day.” And “Grab his booty when he’s least expecting it…just to let him know you’re thinkin’ about him.” Good stuff.
While I was studiously preparing my post filled with great marriage advice, my sweet hubby had the nerve to walk right into the living room where I was working and say something that didn’t sit well with me. I’d love to tell you that I responded with a gentle answer and life-sowing words.
But, alas, I did not.
Instead, I popped off a snarky, sarcastic comment (my barb of choice). Yeah, that went over really well (there’s that sarcasm again). My remark had an effect that was eerily similar to throwing gasoline on a fire. It took about 2.2 seconds for that whole situation to go from bad to worse. We were seriously stokin’ some “home fires,” just not the kind I wanna be telling you about.
Eventually, we settled down. He went back to what he was doing. I went back to my computer. I began reading over the little nuggets of wisdom I had composed.
As I read I was thinking things like, “Yeah, I’d like to leave a note in his lunchbox, alright.” Let me tell ya’, the note that I felt like composing would contain no flowery words of forever love. I’ll just let you use your imagination on that one.
And forget grabbing his booty. Slap the fire outta his booty, maybe, but certainly not a flirty little squeeze.
How about I just go ahead and divulge to you the single, most amazing piece of marriage advice anyone could ever give you? You ready? Here it is:
If you want “happily ever after” watch a Disney princess movie.
I know…that sounds harsh, but it’s true.
If you’re expecting to ride off into the sunset with the man of your dreams with nary a contrary emotion to ever darken the surface of your blissful state of marriage, you’re in for a painfully rude awakening.
Marriage isn’t always sunshine and roses.
- Sometimes it’s wind and rain.
- Sometimes it’s thunder and lightning.
- Sometimes it’s just plain hard work.
You will have arguments, disagreements, and differences of opinion. He’ll snore. You’ll steal the covers. His sing-very-loudly-before-the-sun-is-up personality will be in direct conflict with your I-need-2-cups-of-coffee-before-I-can-even-see-straight personality.
So, what do we do? Rue the day we walked the aisle? Absolutely not!
Here’s what to do:
– Choose to recognize that there will be arguments, but determine to work through them.
– Allow personality differences to become a catalyst for the give and take that’s necessary to find a healthy balance.
– Choose to enjoy your spouse’s strengths while praying for their weaknesses.
– Understand that you may, at times, be offended, but set your heart to forgive.
– Refuse to compare your spouse to someone else. (If the grass appears to be greener on the other side it may be because “the other side” is fertilized with poop. Keep your eyes on your own pasture.)
Strong, lasting marriages aren’t built overnight and they aren’t built by perfect people. They’re built by imperfect couples who choose to love each other through thick and thin, when love feels romantic and when it doesn’t; couples who choose to be humble enough to ask for forgiveness and gracious enough to grant it.
Though our marriage little resembles the goo-goo eyed, breathless “I dos” of almost 25 years ago, it’s deeper and stronger than I ever thought possible. Our union is built on the foundation of Jesus Christ and the example that He gives of sacrifice and forgiveness.
We’ve accepted the fact that “happily ever after” isn’t going to happen this side of heaven, but we’re embracing the journey – together.
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