If you happened to read the post on my Monkey Business page earlier this week, you will know that I have been thinking about, and planning to blog on, the topic of marriage...
That didn't happen on Sunday because my two year old woke up a LOT earlier than expected...a lot of things don't happen in our marriage these days because of child related issues that are unexpected...kind of ironic, huh?
And that is the most challenging part of this season of life...connecting with one another in the midst of what feels like utter chaos. Scott and I joke that we had the best marriage on the planet (we really did!) and then we had kids...
And now...well, it feels pretty normal, and crazy, and up and down and hard some days...but we are committed to one another and that is the most important part. At the end of the day, even when the day has been hard, there is a security because I know he's not going anywhere and neither am I. We made promises to each other, but even bigger than that, we've got God on our side.
For the record, when you've got God on your side you're in good company. I've been reading the book of Numbers over the last couple of weeks, and now that I think about it, God's relationship with the Israelites is a little like my marriage sometimes...up and down...a lot of whining and complaining, a lot of repentance and forgiveness, and God ultimately and always providing for their true needs.
Numbers 21:34 says, "Do not be afraid of him, for I have handed him over to you." God was talking to Moses about a battle they would be entering into...guess what happened? Yup. God took the whole town and all it's people DOWN.
I couldn't help to read that and think, Wow...My God is powerful.
And Praise God that He is...
When the battles of our marriages seem insurmountable...our God is bigger.
When we feel like we're driving each other nuts and are simply living in a plutonic take care of the kids relationship with no passion...God is bigger.
When we're tired, stressed, have given all we have...God is bigger. And stronger.
When the vows we made years and years ago seem like naive words spoken when loving was easy and children were a mere notion...God reminds us that HIS promises never fail, and if we cling to Him ours do not have to either.
There are days, sometimes weeks, when we don't talk deeply, hug whole heartedly, connect intimately, or encourage each other as much as we'd like to...neither of us...because parenting is so incredibly demanding...
Life is hard, marriage is hard, raising children together is hard. And that's when things are going well.
That's right, Scott and I have nothing major to complain about right now...He has a great job that allows me to stay home with the girls. We have a warm house, a refridgerator full of food and healthy children. We have it easy and it still feels hard.
As one of my MOPS friends said earlier this week..."We're all dealing with the same stuff, it's just that no one talks about it."
I'm here. I'll talk. I'll tell you why too...
I want you all to know...you're not alone. I want you all to know...you did NOT marry the wrong person just because times feel hard...It IS hard sometimes, but it is also very good...
There was a wonderful, wonderful article by Dr. Tim Keller that was published in Relevant magazine this month. I'll leave you with his words. One of my favorite parts of the article is the title, "You Never Marry the Right Person."
You should take time to read the whole thing, but, in part, he says:
"Some people in our culture want too much out of a marriage partner. They do not see marriage as two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love and consolation...Rather, they are looking for someone who will accept them as they are, complement their abilities and fulfill their sexual and emotional desires...[They are looking for] a marriage based not on self-denial but on self-fullfillment.
...The reason that marriage is so painful and yet wonderful is because it is a reflection of the Gospel, which is painful and wonderful at once. The Gospel is-- we are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared to believe, and at the same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ then we ever dared hope. This is the only kind of relationship that will really transform us."
You should know that I still have a GREAT marriage. It is not supernatural and always happy, smiley and easy. Nope...it's pretty normal. We have days when we drive each other nuts and then Scott picks up a pound of my favorite coffee from Starbucks (Verona, for the record) and the girls and I buy him crazy colored carnations from the grocery store and make cards (like yesterday!).
It's crazy. But it's good. And I wouldn't have it any other way.