Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Beauty of Marriage Is In The Work

When life gives you yard work work. When life gives you a work too.

We spent the last day picking and raking rocks in our yard. The whole time I was thinking about how it would be worth it in the end to have an obstacle free yard one day. Then it got me thinking about other things that are worth a lot of work and the first thing that came to mind was our marriage.

When we talk to other couples about marriage we always share about the amount of work marriage involves. And we say this with a big smile because, despite the challenges, the work is worth the reward. Work in a marriage perhaps gleans the most beautiful reward that any amount of effort can. It produces trust, friendship, redirection, and hope.

When I say work, I mean the part of a relationship where the romance and the ease get erased. Where chubby cherubs get shot from the sky and you imagine how amazing it would be to have a spouse with mind reading skills. But in all seriousness, there are plenty of days when your marriage seems more like a practical arrangement than a romance. When kids need to be shuttled between night shift and "normal shift". When holidays are celebrated on different days. When date nights are interrupted by call outs or never seem to happen at all because of different schedules. There are MANY ways that LE marriages face struggles that can tear at their foundations. That's where the work comes in.

It may be working on communication (listening and empathy are the best tools for communication...not words). Work may be learning to have patience, control of our own feelings and behaviors. It may be learning to "date" each other again, or simply remembering to stop the craziness of life to enjoy each other. But NEVER is work not worth it. When both people are working on their responsibilities in a marriage, amazing things happen.

Marriage gives us an amazing opportunity for intimate friendship, a safe place, hope that we can make it through anything, knowledge that we are never alone, and a purpose for being our best. Our spouses can drive us nuts, compound it with the added struggles of being an LE family and you can get a difficult battle to fight. But we can do it. We are strong enough to fight for the friendship and love that should come with a healthy marriage.

We still haven't cleared all the rocks in our yard, but we won't stop till we finish. Just like our marriage, we started the job knowing it may take a while, it may be hard, and it will require commitment, but it is worth it in the end. Working on our marriage is worth it. Never give up on the blessing of marriage just because it gets a little "rocky". Get your tools out (or learn how to get some...aka counseling) and get to clearing the rocks in your relationship. You may just discover some treasures in your rock pile.

Praying blessings on your marriages today!

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