[I am currently blogging, along with my daughter, all the way through the alphabet. Check out how the idea started, and get the rules here].
Things I have learned about marriage over the past 22 1/2 years:
- Marriage is more about becoming the right person than finding the right person
- Marriage is the hardest place in the world to be the right person, because you are so invested in it and failures can be so frustrating and embarrassing
- Because the above is true, marriage is the best place to learn how to receive grace
- The closeness of marriage sometimes feels like being wrapped up in a warm blanket on a cold night, all comforting and familiar and peaceful.
- Other times the closeness of marriage feels like trying to ride a bicycle in an elevator, all awkward and frustrating and bumping into each other every time you turn around
- A lot of the time — far more than you ever imagined when you got married — marriage just feels normal. Until you one day realize that being surrounded most moments of your life by your favorite people on earth, coming home to their hugs and kisses, having people miss you when you are away, sharing meals together, worshiping together, laughing together, and crying together is what has become “normal” to you, so actually “on top of the world and this is as good as life is ever gonna get” has become the new normal
- Marriage is a fantastic thing to get into if you’re looking for someone to blame for all your shortcomings
- Marriage is a fantastic way to find out who your shortcomings actually belong to
- Marriage is the best place to learn the following things: forgiveness, patience, trust, faithfulness, and when to not go there — after, of course, you have learned — usually with much pain — where the places are that you are better off not going
- The default state of marriage, like everything else, is atrophy. Every marriage will fall apart unless both partners work to keep it alive and meaningful.
- When you see a marriage that has lasted a long time, it is not because those people “got lucky.” Those two people have worked their butts off and weathered more storms than you can imagine — unless, of course, you too are in a marriage that has lasted a long time. In which case, you probably don’t think that people who have been in marriages a long time just happened to get lucky.
- Marriage can be measured by how many caskets you have stood next to together, how many weddings you have attended, how many crises you have suffered through together, how many times you have given each other knowing looks over something your children have said or done, and how many times you have each been certain that you were finally, for good and forever, out of money.
- Show me somebody in a marriage who thinks he/she is God’s gift to the other person and I’ll show you somebody in an immature relationship. You are on the road to marital success when you realize how fortunate and blessed you are to have found somebody to marry your sorry butt and stick with you all these years. Marriage is not about thinking you are God’s gift to your partner — it is realizing that your partner is God’s gift to you.
- Marriage is where you learn, beyond all doubt, that love is not a feeling, but an action. I can tell my wife I feel a certain way about her all day long, but sometimes it’s better to shut up and help fold the laundry.
- Marriage can’t be captured with any number of bulleted points.
And with that, we are half way through the alphabet!