Friday, May 18, 2012

The Making Of A Marriage

{A repost today while I'm in the swirl of ballet recitals and ball games...and thinking about my sweet husband today who had a birthday this week!}

I'm up in my bedroom, sorting laundry.  Before I heave my well-filled basket down the stairs, I do one last walk around.  A good thing, too, because my husband has quite a collection of laundry on his side of the bed.

I stoop and picking up the layers he shed after long days of working and parenting, and considering that, in 30 years, I'll be picking up his laundry still.  After 9 years of marriage, he still seems to have a blind spot regarding the laundry hamper in the corner.

That's just how marriage is; flaws laid bare and vulnerable to your other half.  There's no hiding in marriage.  I know my own laundry list of shortcomings adds up to more than just a few pairs of jeans tossed in the corner.  In marriage, you are stripped down to your fundamental self.  Under the microscope of close, communal life, no flaw is left unnoticed.

As I sort, I think of him.  His face, several days worth of stubble.  Dark curly hair.  Wrinkles forming near his eyes.  Smile lines.   I think of all the things he does right.  Hard work and deep love and unwavering commitment.  It seems silly to get worked up about a rogue laundry pile in light of all that.

And maybe that's how marriage really changes us: as we're sanctified, we soften.  The wrinkles that seemed so insurmountable during those first few tumultuous years softly smoothed out as we extend grace to someone we have come to know inside and out.  Those years of sacrifice and service, they soften our hearts toward one another.  Precious, imperfect people just doing their best.

He may never put his dirty socks in the laundry basket.  I may never grow out of my bad habit of complaining.  Strong marriages are built on love, not because the other person is perfect, but because the other person is not, and still tries his or her best.

" Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:31-32

{photos: 1) The boy I fell in love with, J in 2002. 2) J with Ben in our second apartment, 2004 3) J making breakfast, 2010 4) J with Peter, Christmas 2011 5) J with Fiona at the park, 2009 6) J with me, 2010}


  1. You are wise beyond your years Lydia!! I miss you.

  2. I agree with this so much. We just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary and I have to say, that the more grace we extend to one another the better our marriage is. We are changing and growing together but like you mentioned, there are still major flaws, that probably won't ever be changed. After 10 years, the expectations have changed more than the individuals and that has been the key for us in keeping on keeping on. The main theme of I Cor. 13. is Love suffers, love endures. God has forgiven us much, so we remind ourselves to forgive each other.

  3. It's like you're in my brain, and in my home! "He may never put his dirty socks in the laundry basket. I may never grow out of my bad habit of complaining."

    Thank you for this Lydia....we will also be celebrating our big 8 in a couple of months. I really needed this reminder to focus on all he does RIGHT and not wrong.....

    I will be meditating on Ephesians 4:31-32 today, and I know it will help my attitude! Thank you again, so much, for your transparency and willingness to be open and for God to use you.....

  4. Danielle - thanks for mentioning expectations. Those can really get in the way of things, can't they? Like some sort of unbending standard that we just made up on our own and measure others against. Marriage (and parenthood, for that matter) has been a crash course for me in letting go of expectations. I though it would mean giving up, but really it has blessed me more than I could have imagined.

    Thank you for all your thoughtful words this morning, ladies!

  5. This was very good, and a wake up call for I am blogging, when my house is a mess...thanks for being sensitive to what the Lord was pressing upon your heart to write. Every once and awhile I just blog that is how I stumbled across your blog. God Bless!

    -Tina R.

  6. PS: I'm glad I did! I'm gonna' get to cleaning! :)

  7. I hope I can take this to heart. It is very easy to lose motivation and eagerness to forgive when you feel you're the only one working toward anything good. If you asked me what my husband's good traits are, I'd be hard pressed to come up with more than three.

  8. What a wonderful and wise post! My husband and I are also coming up to 8 years and the expectation thing has been a real roller coaster of adjustment! All these ideas we have as little girls about our future "knight". How could they ever live up to that? It makes me really cautious in how I treat my son and daughter. So aware that little eyes are always watching us....and that they will likely model what they see. As for laundry...compromise! He does his own, and I do mine and the 3 kids. Now that might sound unfair, but I hate putting gas in the car. He does it for me. After 8 years, he still brings me a coffee in the morning. Isn't the scoreboard more fun when we keep track of what they DID, instead of what they didn't?

  9. Beautiful post, Lydia! After almost 16 years of marriage, I have found that grace is the key to marriage... A grace that covers shortcomings with understanding and protects from misunderstandings. A grace that is generous, forgiving, encouraging and unconditional. A grace that fills in the gaps rather than notices what's lacking. A grace that provides stability yet allows for growth. A grace that reflects God's love.

  10. You have this incredible knack at writing articles that pertain to me exactly when they appear in my life! Thanks, yet again, for the wonderful reminder to extend grace and appreciate the big things our spouses do in our partnerships.

  11. Thanks Lydia - this is the first post i've read on your! I read something similar about this the other day and its been on my heart ever since!
    "Wives see their husbands flaws so clearly, not so they can nag and complain, but so they can kneel and pray"
    We've just celebrated our 2nd w.a - and the only other learning curve comparable to marriage is motherhood. Our daughter just celebrated her 1st birthday today.
    Keep up the good work!
    God bless!

  12. Country Wife - you are so right. My husband does so much for me, but at lot of it is beneath my notice - things like keeping the car filled up, getting the trash out to the road, etc. I would notice if he didn't do those things, but do I notice when he does? Very good perspective to keep in mind, especially when I frequently pout that no one is thanking me for the jobs I am doing.

    Thank you everyone for stopping by! Subscribe and keep in touch!

  13. In the middle of a fight with my husband when I read this. Called to apologize. The verse was perfect. Thanks :)

    1. Good for you! Life is hard enough. Thanks for stopping by!


Thank you so much for stopping by! I love hearing from you! While you're here, don't forget to click "subscribe"!