It is tempting to look back with only fond memories….blocking out the true struggles and emotional hurts, painful stretching of personalities, and improvement of attitudes.But this wouldn’t be fair….to ourselves or to others watching.
The truth is marriage is HARD.It takes commitment.
It takes dedication.It takes compromise and selflessness.
It takes a tremendous amount of forgiveness (more on Mr. Tim’s part than on mine, for sure).
IT TAKES JESUS!In the center
In each heartIn the good
and in the bad.
Mr. Tim and I are not perfect (shocking, I know). We have made mistakes; we have hurt each other with words and choices. We have been selfish and we have been full of pride. I don’t want to forget the struggles. Because the truth is…..the good times are sometimes only possible because of the growth done in the bad moments.
We have had a beautiful marriage full of many more positives than negatives, lots of laughter, genuine respect and admiration for each other, and a deep love centered on Jesus. We are the best of friends. We’d rather be together than with anyone else. It’s comforting to be so loved by someone. Especially when they are the ONE person on this earth that knows your ugliest of ugly
thoughts, selfishness, and fears….
and they don’t walk away….ever.
They love you through the “yuck” of yourself and help you grow into who God desires for you to be. That’s my Tim. That’s who he has been for me. That’s who we have been for each other. When centered on Jesus, it makes for a strong unity that
just feels wonderful!
And it works. And it’s beautiful. And my heart is filled to the brim with happiness.
But we didn’t get here without conflict. We didn’t walk down that aisle and instantly “know” how to resolve our differences. We didn’t magically burn our individual selfish pride away when we lit the wedding unity candle.
My Tim and I aren’t big fighters. I know every relationship is different, but we can count our major arguments on one hand and we are over 18 years into this marriage. (Mr. Tim gets all the credit for this, believe you me, I would have fought more if he would have engaged in a battle! Bless him and his wisdom. Bless his dependence on our Heavenly Father to guide him in leading our family!)
We have spent the past 20 months together virtually 24/7, side by side. Serving and caring for each other; communicating on the deepest of levels. And we have enjoyed it! We have grown even closer. Our hearts are knit together even more intricately. God has used this time to teach me something about conflict. In this somewhat slower pace of our lives, I’ve been able to really pause when my feelings begin screaming that they are hurting. I have been able to evaluate my hurt or our disagreement in the light of my Tim’s character. I trust his character. He has proven himself as trustworthy. When I align my hurt feelings from something done/not done or said/not said with the character of the man I love most on this earth…..I am able to trust and validate his intentions. Verbalizing my faith in his character helps to dissolve the conflict and opens my eyes to see that most of the time the issue has more to do with my selfish pride than my husband’s intentions. OUCH. Growth often requires hurt , humility, and repentance.
So, has this marriage been perfect? Absolutely not! It has been good (great, really) and it has been fun; but I pray I never forget the struggles intermingled with the joy. Because it’s important for me to remember and for our children to know…
that good things take hard work.that a strong marriage doesn’t just happen.
that being intentional and choosing to love when you don’t
feel like it are necessary character traits.
Andto treasure the importance of trusting and validating the character of your spouse especially when in an argument or dealing with hurt feelings.
Thank You Lord Jesus, for the gift of marriage and the intense personal growth it brings about as we lean ever harder into You. Amen.