My husband and I are a bad match.
If we had lived in a culture of arranged marriages, no sage elders would have ever suggested a partnership between us.
Our union would yield not financial gain, nor peaceful conversations over delicately clanking tea cups.
If we had been searching for compatibility on internetmatches.com our queries never would have linked. (I’m making up internet jargon here, which I know little to nothing about, so please forgive the inaccuracies.)
Sorry, no matching Angel’s t-shirts for me or couples yoga for him.
We don’t share a similar sense of humor, a co-dependent addiction to a mini-series, or a pet.
Oh yes! I almost forgot, we do have something in common, we are both first-borns, stubborn and unyielding.
We butt heads- a lot.
On bad days when our polarizing notions and emotions get the best of us, have had their power plays, and leave us depleted and frustrated- this is when I feel the lack neutral activity the most strongly.
“Can I just think of something funny to say- that will make us both laugh?” I can’t.
So here is my choice, to see our incompatibility as a special gift.
You see there are many couples who love to sport their matching Lacoste for a weekend tee-time or dance the night away or who can enjoy each other’s company while completing do-it-yourself projects.
And I imagine that things go just fine most of the time and when they don’t that stinks, but then soon it’s back to golf, salsa dancing, and tiling the bathroom.
What happens when things don’t go fine and there is no dusty set of clubs to dig out the closet and no deck to build?
What happens when there is no distraction from an attack on your marriage?And you are first-borns who know how to clench your teeth and dig your heels in?
I’ll tell you what happens.
You choose fight: for and with one another or against one another. (I’ll admit, in the heat of the moment, this boundary isn’t always clear cut.)
You fight together- wide eyed with fear that if you just let it wash over- that fragile seeming union will dissolve.
You fight for your spouse- even when you are down and your vision is blurred and you throw an accidental jab in the wrong direction.
When you are weary and weak you allow your spouse to fight for you and you express your sincere thanks for the victory won on your behalf.
My marriage is not easy, but it is dynamic.
When we refuse to give up,
When we venture into uncharted territory- and forge a new path together
When we acknowledge that our relationship was built for more than sitting-pretty
When we forgive,
Something extraordinary happens.
We can taste the goodness of the Lord.
We catch a glimpse of His unfolding vision for our lives.
We are unified in our desire to serve the Lord together-sanctification is painful.
We are strengthened.
We are a bad match, but somehow we work.
Like pizza and wine.
Like gravity and leaping from a cliff.
Like Bonnie and Cylde.
Our marriage is not a fragile union.
We have gotten “down and dirty” on its behalf many times.
Its muscle is increasing its strength.
I pray it builds endurance for the long path ahead.
It is a hearty and valuable covenant.
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living. Psalm 27:14
This post is dedicated to my husband and the many wounds he has taken in the fight for me and us.