My house is a mess. I am decorating for Christmas, but there are demands keeping me from finishing it all at once.
Oh sure, I’ve posted photos on Instagram zoomed in where it appears my home is picture perfect, but it’s not. It may not ever be this year.
Marriage can give the same impression.
We can present ourselves to others in a way leaving an impression that just isn’t real. We all have messes because anything worth doing is going to make a mess in the process! Consider…
- A messy season of decorating and preparation precedes the wedding day.
- Lots of hair clippings and foils precede a new hairstyle.
- Dirty kitchen utensils, appliances and counters precede a perfect holiday meal.
- And hurts and disappointments can be at the forefront of healthy marriages. What make some grow stronger and others break apart is how they handle the mess.
Tom and I are facing some challenges right now that could bring division. But we’re talking, we’re sharing, we’re disclosing our hurts and disappointments with each other. Not to place blame or accusation, but to make sure the mess isn’t in vain.
Imagine if when decorating your home for Christmas you never put any of the storage boxes away or cleaned up? Needles and glitter settles all over everything and this takes time to sweep up. What if the the mess became the focus and not the tree or the mantle? This is what we do when we refuse to talk with each other about our current struggles. We wallow in it like a pig in his pen.
In the midst of this intense season, I’ve said some things I regret. Can you relate? When I realized how my words had hurt Tom I felt genuine remorse for my lack of kindness and love. As I was sharing how sorry I was that he had to put up with me and my sin, his response to me was astonishing!
He said, “Debi, I chose you and I still do!”
It took my breath away to hear it when we first got engaged, but it means so much more to me now. He has seen me at my worst and loves me still. He.still.chooses.me!
What mess are you facing in your relationship? Are you facing it together to clean it up? Or are you wallowing in it as if made to live this way? It may be time to sweep up the mess. There is a beautiful reality found in marriage when we don’t hide the mess, but deal with it as it comes.
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:3 KJV
Thank you for letting all of us who follow your blog know that your marriage has rocky spots too…. as I reflect on the last 10 years with Eddie as I think about our upcoming anniversary, I often wonder how and why he has stayed and put up with me…..he told me at lunch today almost the same thing Tom said to you…and yes my stomach got those butterflies….. Merry Christmas Debi and Tom…..and many more years of marriage…..
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Thank you Kathy. Marriage isn’t easy. And happy marriages take even more work because you have to put away selfishness and learn to give when you don’t feel like it. Congratulations on your anniversary. Every one is worth celebrating for each year comes with its own challenges and rewards.
Thank you for being a part of our community here!
Thanks much for being transparent. Yes, my house looks like that now and our marriage has certainly had it’s challenging times and I’ve had to ask for forgiveness. When I do, my husband says, “I know your heart and I find no fault in it.” Love that he loves me like Jesus and I love him more after 37.5 years of marriage than I ever have.
Vickie, what an amazing testimony. When is your anniversary? We will celebrate 38 years in February. It is a gift to have a husband who love like Christ loves the church.
Blessings, and Merry Christmas!
Yes, Debi, it truly is a gift. I tell him that he’s one of God’s angels, sent down from Heaven, just for me. We had our 1st date Feb. 27, 1979, got engaged 3 weeks later on March 16th and got married 4 months later on July 14th! Our marriage has never been perfect and after having our 2 biological children and kind of thinking, “bless us 4 and no more”, God called us to adopt 5 older kids from Brazil and the Philippines and that for sure brought on many challenges in our lives and marriage. We are so excited that we get to go on our 1st Family Life “Love Like You Mean It” marriage cruise this coming Valentines week 2017. We can hardly wait!
Gratefulness is a big part of our marriage; even for the little things. When he says, “thank you for loving me”, I sincerely say, “thank you for making yourself so irresistable.” I can still say that even after times of feeling like he was going to drive me crazy and times at being very frustrated and angry at him; (probably days or weeks later) lol. We have learned much in our years together including from Love & Respect, “not wrong, just different.” God has done and continues to do a good work in both of our lives and we want it to continue, all for the GLORY OF GOD!!
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Wow! What a wonderful synopsis of what real marriage looks like. Thank you for sharing it with us.