I was tagged on socia media twice to do the marriage/relationship photo challenge thingy. I believe you share a photo a day for 7 days of you and your spouse, tagging two more people each day to do the same. I’m not going to do it. It’s not their fault, in fact, I’m honored they thought of me! It’s that I have this hang up about sharing/copying/pasting social media challenges. I just can’t do them. I’d forget one day, and then people would feel pressured to do it because I tagged them. Maybe it’s latent defiance of authority. Who knows?
However I will take this moment, this blog post, to say this about my spouse. He’s a cool guy. Except when he’s not. And I’m a cool gal, except when I’m not. We just celebrated our 18th anniversary. In some circles, that’s not very long. In others that’s pretty good. When I think about why we are still together, I know for a fact it is only the mercy and grace of Jesus that made that happen. There’s nothing like marriage to test a persons devotion, to test their ability to honor their vow. People change you know. I hear this all the time in defense of the divorce. “We aren’t who we used to be” and “I’m not who I was” are used to explain why a couple doesn’t stay together. I often wonder, why in the course of a lifetime did you think you would have stayed the same? The vow wasn’t to remain as long as you were the same person. It wasn’t to remain as long as you didn’t emotionally outgrow your partner. It was simply to remain. That’s what makes it the big vow. The big vow isn’t that I’ll just keep my stuff where his stuff is til one of us dies. The big vow says, I may outgrow you and you may outgrow me, but I will love anyway. I will love you in my actions when my feelings aren’t feeling it. I will try to meet you and tend to you in the time you are broken. I don’t expect that we are always going to be happy and at peace. We will argue and disagree, sometimes to the point we wonder if we’ll make it past this awful thing. One or both of us will face depression. We will let each other down.
The vow says I won’t quit you when I don’t like you. It says though it costs me, I will stay with you. Because one day I will be difficult. And though I lash at you I will need you to stay with me and tend me. In doing this, we show each other the love God has for us. The love that loves when we don’t deserve it. In doing this we show our children that true love is a choice we make daily, monthly, yearly. It’s a choice to do the right thing even when we don’t want to.
I think sometimes it’s taken us 18 years to be even able to tell that the other one is upset because they hurting in some way, and not to just respond emotionally in kind. What can I say, we are slow learners! I’m so thankful we didn’t quit when it was hard. I’m glad we didn’t bail when it felt like it was going downhill. I hope that we never do.