Late last night Nathan decided it was time to wash our diaper bag. One of the juice cups had spilled in it and there was a piece of a banana that had been smashed into the bottom of it. Let’s face it, diaper bags take some abuse. Between all the snacks, beverages and dirty bibs that get shoved into it on a daily basis, they tend to get a bit dirty.
Without asking my opinion on washing it in the washing machine or hand washing it in the sink, he tossed it in the washing machine. Two hours or so later, around midnight (yes, sometimes it takes hours to get the boys to sleep) he went to retrieve the diaper bag and hang it to dry.
That was when he realized that our diaper bag probably wasn’t machine washable. There used to be a stiff piece of cardboard in the bottom of it to help it to maintain its shape, and now the cardboard was in tiny shreds and covering my washing machine and the diaper bag.
We were frustrated and tired. Neither of us felt like cleaning it all up. We weren’t very nice to one another. We used harsh words and were rude. I’m not proud of this, but I’m being honest. We cleaned up the mess and had a discussion that ended with apologies to one another. We snuggled close together as we fell asleep.
This situation made me think about the relationship of marriage. It’s truly unique. Two imperfect people choose one another. They choose to weather all of life’s ups and downs together. The challenges and hardships as well as the moments of bliss are to be accomplished hand in hand with one another. How is this possible? How do two people continue to love one another during the difficult moments of life.
This takes me back to a couple months ago when we were at the beach. I had styled my Mamow’s hair and applied her makeup for her. When she stepped into the living room my Papow said, “Wow! She looks just like a river boat queen!” I’m not really for sure, but after asking him to explain himself I gathered that a river boat queen is a pretty girl who’s all dolled up and sings on a river boat. I’m still a little confused, but what I do know is that he was letting her know that she was beautiful and that he was attracted to her.
My Papow and Mamow have been married 50 years and are half way to 51 years! This isn’t an accident. Marriage takes work. It’s an intentional effort between two people.
Nathan and I have been blessed with wonderful role models for what a Godly marriage looks like. Not only have my grandparents been married forever, but my parents have been married for almost 27 years.
One of the many things that I have learned is that striving to honor God is the most important aspect of a marriage. If each person is seeking to honor God then they will inevitably honor one another. Even if there are times that you don’t really feel like you like your spouse too much, honor him/her as unto the Lord.
When I was engaged my Mama told me, “If there is anything that annoys you just a teeny bit about him, just remember that once you’re married everything will seem amplified. When that happens, choose to overlook it and love him in spite of whatever it is.” In other words, the smallest thing will seem like a big deal.
At the time I thought that would never happen to me. Nothing would ever annoy me about my sweet groom, or so I thought. But, as always, my dear Mama was right. I guess through many years of marriage one learns a thing or two. This is a two way street, of course. I’m sure I annoy Nathan at times. Thank the Lord he chooses to love me in spite of myself.
One of the best quotes that has been shared with me was from my Mama and it was this. Choose thy love; Love thy choice. Wow! That really hits home. Marriage isn’t something that should be entered into lightly. It’s a lifelong commitment. It’s not disposable. When I get tired, irritated or annoyed I won’t decide to love someone else. Nathan is my man through the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I am so very thankful for these wonderful examples in our life, and I’m so thankful for the chance to do this thing called “marriage” with my best friend!