Friday, August 9, 2013

Marriage is a commitment to the in-between

In 10 years, we've moved across the country twice, started a small business, completed a PhD, received bad news at the Dr.'s office, suffered miscarriage and close family loss, bought & sold homes, had 3 children-one we nearly lost in delivery.
Most of our married life has been lived out in unfamiliar states, far from family or friends. We've lived both hand-to-mouth and with ample margin in our budget. It's safe to say we've tested our commitment.

Friends suggest we could write a book about making big decisions and that "if anyone can make it through, we can" referring to the journey we've traveled-both involuntarily and voluntarily. The truth is neither of our parents have stayed the course in marriage, so we had a good idea of what can tear it apart when we began. Figuring out what sustains is new territory.

If asked now, I'd say what sustains is your commitment to the in-between.
Friends and family will be there to celebrate with you and will bring a meal or lend a hand when life isn't so celebratory. But in between its just the two of you.

Each person is sure to grow and change through the years, which makes it all the more tricky.
In spite of the bad & ugly that comes along with growth, each person has to be deeply committed to stay and to support and to love. Sound humanly impossible? Absolutely! 
For us, this is where our individual relationships with Jesus, and devotion to honoring & obeying His commands is crucial. We're both accountable to something higher than our vows for our actions & reactions, for forgiving and apologizing.

Beyond that, it's about the in-between.
In-between degree and job.
In-between pre- and post- baby weight.
In-between diagnosis and recovery.

I love a grand romantic gesture as much as the next gal, and truth-be-told, I'd like both, but it's his thoughtfulness on an ordinary day that woos me most. Bouquets on Valentines Day are wonderful, but without love on any given Wednesday such gifts hardly carry weight. He's most charming when he chooses me over any number of other things clamoring for his attention.

Love is staying committed when the newborn has been home for a couple months and your lifeline is the coffee maker's drip and you've chosen sleep over sex for weeks. 

Love is noticing. 
Love is being first to say "I'm sorry".
Love is extending grace.
Commitment is not letting it get old.
Commitment is not pretending because it's easier than facing it.

When your cup is so empty, you having nothing left to give, & you give something, anything anyway...that's commitment.

Marriage is a promise. A promise to get creative when a date or even flowers aren't in the cards to make your gal feel lovely. A promise to give them no good reason to look elsewhere for flattery and to make them feel noticed. Marriage is a commitment to saying "yes" when you really don't feel like it because you know it's important to your spouse.

Marriage is life-long companionship-be it watching the game or sitting in a hospital room.
The in-between.
That's when I feel married.
That's when I'm glad I'm married.
The in-between.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self...
Love doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first",
Doesn't fly off the handle, 
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others...
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best, 
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

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  1. I loved this post! It made me tear up, and I am certainly going to share it with my husband tonight. Thank you for sharing from your heart, and Happy 10th Anniversary!


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