As of today, my husband and I have officially been married a whopping twenty years. This is nothing short of miraculous when you consider that we were filed for divorce in year number three. We then had three or so years of Humility Training meets Bad Habit Breaking. Next, maybe two years of Struggling to Accept God’s Mercy and Grace.
Then, holy mackerel! This marriage thing was working!
I’ll be honest: It wasn’t all about the marriage. It was more about me dying to my self and Dave dying to his. Not fun. Not easy.
Tonight I fix supper here at home for my husband of twenty years–my partner in parenting, my safe place, my reality check, my lover and my leader. He takes me as I am and has very few expectations of what I should give.
Which makes me want to be better than I was yesterday and to give more than I am comfortable giving.
Even though we were struggling, I have no doubt that my husband would have laid down his life for me in those early years, and I guess that’s pretty special. Even more precious to me, though, is knowing that my husband has laid down his self for me–his comfort, his pride, his preferences and his expectations. He has taken me as his wife and has given me over to God for any changes that need wrought. No strings attached, no disappointment displayed. Just patient love that inspires me to want to return the favor.
So, what do I fix this amazing man in celebration of our twentieth anniversary? Cheese-and-bacon-stuffed meatloaf, that’s what. Comfortable. Hearty. Filling. Just like our relationship. We are comfortable accepting one another as we are. We give one another grace with a lot of heart. We strive to fill ourselves and one another with what is true and right, leaving little room for distraction and discontentment.
Comfortable. Hearty. Filling.
And maybe a little bit cheesy.
By the way, when you hold out on accepting God’s mercy and grace long enough, you will discover that no amount of humility or breaking bad habits will yield the peace and freedom your spirit craves. At some point, you’ve just gotta accept the fact that Jesus would have gone to the cross even if it had only been for you. Otherwise, you’re still going to be stuck in shame…which brings destruction. The devil wins when we withhold forgiveness–even when we are withholding it from ourselves.