Leif and I went to a Swing Dancing evening last weekend and a friend we hadn't seen in a while asked us if we dance all of the time. I said no, but we'd like to dance more... and another friend chimed in (tongue in cheek) that we do dance all the time, because we're newly weds, and I sing while I do house work and have little birds help me fold sheets.... (anyone seen the movie Enchanted?) :) Although said in a teasing way, since we all know that's not how it works, it just brought to mind some of my thoughts about marriage before I got married.
I knew everything there was to know about relationships and marriage before I turned 18. Because I would be 18 when I got married.... I'd read so many courtship stories, and had looked at the average age and it was usually about 18. Of course, I'd be married at 18. I owned every courtship book and had read some great marriage books as well and I pretty much had this thing down. I'd heard people say that my husband could not being my everything- but that God should be and I thought, "well, of course!" I also knew that we really wouldn't have all of those problems that some of the couples faced in those books. I was a Christian, I would marry a Christian... and I'm pretty much perfect (I was working so hard to do everything on the Proverbs 31 "list"), and I would marry someone who was pretty much perfect and we wouldn't have problems like that, we would have lovely children, raise them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord and life would be a bed of roses. I know, I'm full of it, aren't I? :)
Well- marriage is truly wonderful, but as crazy as this sounds... I'm not as perfect and put together as I thought I was, and I didn't marry an entirely perfect man. I love how this quote sums this up:
"A successful marriage isn't the union of two perfect people. It's that of two imperfect people who have learned the value of forgiveness and grace" - Darlene SchachtSo... How is married life? It is wonderful, but it is also (and I say this very seriously) the most packed season of growing that I have every experienced. To learn how to communicate well, graciously, and lovingly is a lot harder than it sounds. I'm learning to lovingly tell him when I'm struggling with something that he's done or made a decision to do, instead of bottling up emotions and words which that's not a real solution. It works for a very short amount of time- but it will always come spewing up and will cause much more damage in the long-run for you and your spouse. I'm learning how to remember how I felt after we came back from our honeymoon and I did laundry for the first time. I was so delighted to do it! I have decided that I would much rather have this man in my life and have to pick up all the things he leaves on the floor, than to not be married to him and have an immaculate apartment. :)
I do not have this perfected. I do not have birds helping me fold sheets, and I don't always sing when I do house work. I am not naturally a good communicator, but I am learning from the Lord and from the beautiful example that my husband, Leif, is to me.
That's how married life is right now. Learning, growing, and have a TON of fun with my best- friend!