Thursday, November 4, 2010

Replacing "Ken"

As part of our marriage ceremony over eleven years ago, Adam and I lit a Unity Candle, symbolizing the joining of our individual lives. Times change, sometimes for the better, and there is a new "unity" tradition some couples are using that I think better represents this idea of "unity". Each taking a different colored sand, they pour their sand into a larger vase. And as the husband pours his blue sand and the wife pours her pink sand, the colors come together. Her sand mixes with his sand. And his sand mixes with her sand. Parts of her and parts of him come together in the vase. They fill in around each other uniting the best of both people. You can still see the pink. And you can still see the blue. But together, they are one vase of sand.

Marriage is hard. Becoming intertwined with another human being, someone who does things differently then you, can get complicated. Some couples may find it easier then others or some couples just aren't willing to admit that they have their moments.

We disagree. We get angry. We misunderstand, misread, make assumptions. We don't communicate our expectations. We assume the worst. We get defensive. We pout, withdraw, and grump about. This is married life. Thankfully, only some of the time.

So as God does, He has been using the moments of tension in our marriage to teach me some things about myself and about being a wife. And I humbly admit to you what I have recently learned.

I'm afraid.

I had this dream of what life would be. I imagined my knight in shining armor husband who loved me the way I needed to be loved. A "Ken" doll who would never let me down, would always put me first, and would absolutely and whole-heartedly adore me and only me.

A "perfect husband" doesn't exist. Just like a perfect Christy doesn't exist either.

A friend said to me the other day that at some point you just need to accept your husband for who he is, even if he's not the knight on a white horse you imagined him to be. Accept your husband. "You mean even if he doesn't..." Yes, accept your husband. "Even if he forgets to..." Yes, accept your husband. "But he promised he would and he didn't do..." Yes, accept your husband. Sigh!

So how do I even do that?

Love him. Encourage him. Stop telling him what he isn't doing. Stop trying to change him. Have faith. Pray.

This quote is so true. "Fear ruins our actions of faith."

God wants us to overlook an offense. He would rather we sometimes choose to "let ourselves be wronged or cheated" (1 Corinthians 6:7). I am all about fairness. But I was reminded today that although God cares about being just and fair he is also merciful, forgiving, loving, etc.

Our fears and our expectations that everything be fair, just, and the way we think it should be get in the way. Fears and expectations get in the way of love, the greatest thing of all.

Adam, please forgive me for not loving you the way I should. I am sorry that when I am motivated by my fears I criticize and pressure you. I love you and accept you for who you are today. I want to replace my high standard dream of "happily ever after" with something more attainable. My dream is you and all that you are. The good, work in progress man that God gave to me. Warts, scars, good, bad, baggage and all. God's perfect gift to me.

Your sand mixing with my sand. That's what I want. Forever.

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lisaqshay said...

Love your open heart and willingness to grow. It's an encouragement to me. You're right marriage is difficult in this fallen world we live in. But with God it's easier to love others and esteem our spouses higher than ourselves. If we can just keep our focus on loving them thru HIM and loving them to glorify HIM and not for any other reason...why then we're really onto something. I'm in it with ya, sister. It's a privilege to run the race along side you.

Unknown said...

Thanks for your comment, Lisa! I am glad that I'm not alone in the struggle. It's too easy to feel like everyone else has it together. I'm going to take "loving them thru Him and loving them to glorify Him" to heart. Thanks for your encouragement!

a.willard said...

I would like to forgive you with the stipulation that you forgive me for not trying harder to be what God calls me to be. For getting wrapped up in my own junk and letting it effect my relationship with you. You are my best friend and confidant. If only we could always love each other the way our hearts want to. God has definitely called us to a place in life we never could have dreamed of. You love me so well it is hard to think of "needing" to forgive you. But i know God lays things on our hearts for a reason and I am so proud to be married to such a loving humble women. As I hope you understand by now that God has used your obedience to Him to begin a change in me that has altered our lives forever. He used you to call me back to Him. My hearts desire is to Love you like christ and present you as the spotless bride to your heavenly father when we both see him in glory someday (soon).
With all my love,

Barbara said...

What an encouraging post, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Some great words of wisdom in your post. It is so true that no husband is perfect, they are who they are and we are called to love them that way. You said it beautifully.

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