Monday, January 9, 2012
Roses and Sit-ups
Somewhere between mincing onions and stirring rich yellow curry sauce, it happened. Hurtful words sliced deep. A quiet heart in a bustling room, tears held back. After supper, I grabbed my shoes and jacket, slipping out the door to the night.
The dark enveloped me. A rural sleep, so silent compared to my suburban home, muffled my steps. "Why, Lord?" Moonlight touched dark houses.
Sometimes marriage is romance and roses. Other times it seems more like situps and running the hard laps. Breathe, keep going, breathe, you can do it, breathe, this is worth it, breathe, the hard work pays off, breathe, this will be beautiful afterward.
In the pre-marital counseling sessions we do with young couples before they get married, we talk honestly about the great days of marriage and the hard days of marriage. We share that love is a choice, a commitment, and that in the hard moments when we may not even feel like we "like" each other, we need to race to God, ask him to soften our hearts, humble ourselves, and then choose to find the good, loving anew, having the hard talks.
I am passionate about strong marriages. I am in love with my man, and am so proud of him. He is a great youth pastor, wonderful dad, tender husband.
Walking under that night sky, I talked with and listened to God. "This is obedience to you," I said. "This is to make me more like you, right?" Too often I fall into focusing on what makes me feel loved, rather than on what shows love to my Creator (first), and then on what makes my husband feel loved.
Breathing deeply, inhaling the chilled night air, I grabbed the door handle. We made eye contact, and my heart softened. We cuddled into each other. Later we talked humbly in our dark room, apologizing, revealing, committing to look for ways to serve, build up and love each other.
The romance and roses returned, and the hard work paid off.