At a wedding years ago, I heard a pastor tell the happy couple that they did not know what they were doing.
Of course he was right. Engagements and weddings and anniversary trips are gauzy and glowing and everything has a soft focus that enhances the beautiful and skims the rest. Day to day living is more like a microscope. Every pore and wrinkle rendered in sharp detail.
Tulle and calla lilies don’t go with dinner burned to a pan, laundry left wadded on the bedroom floor, or handing a baby boy to an operating room nurse. No one is serving elegant appetizers to go with layoff scares and colic and more laundry. Dailiness has a way of wearing down both romantic memories and good intentions. In the struggle against the mundane it is no wonder that many couples fall into keeping score– who did what to or for whom, whose turn it is, who was right and wrong– tit for tat wrangling they could never have imagined at the altar. And at the end of the day, somehow the score is always 0-0.
Belovedness takes a step back. Not into the blind, backlit days of courtship, but with the full knowledge of all the warts revealed by up close living. It’s a step back onto the firm ground of acknowledging the your husband is, that you are, God’s beloved. Created unique and pleasing to your Maker. You are secure in that unfailing love that does not shift with the value of the retirement portfolio or how either of you feels on a random Thursday morning. Simply put, He just doesn’t love like we do.
That is why we make promises. They put a backbone in our feelings. Those promises remind us that we are for this man, rooting for him, speaking truth to him in love when perhaps, all day, he’s been in a world that cares for neither. We can risk losing the upper hand, we can actually extend grace, energy, and picked-up dry-cleaning when it is not our turn. We’ve already been given a beloved status that does not keep score, so we can turn off the scoreboard too.
Sometimes the faces we live with are ones we are slowest to really see.
We can remember that this man is our beloved. And then we can remind him, too.
I’m a mom, photographer, soup-lover and blogger. I’m not a marriage counsellor.
This post assumes a basically healthy marriage that has perhaps become a bit bogged
down in daily life. Please know that I intend no glibness about serious relational problems.
This post only suggests a shift in perspective. MK