Tuesday, February 14, 2012
When we were just wee newlyweds nearly ten years ago, there were quite a few things we had to get used to about each other. One of these such things is a typical male/female difference. I love to talk and analyze the day and my husband, well we'll just say that he's usually used up his words by the time our heads hit the pillows.
This posed a problem-often, because in my naive sort of way, I would chatter up a storm while we were "drifting off to sleep". And Steve, after awhile, instead informing me he wasn't listening anymore, would just start twitching and breathing deeply, which is a nice way of saying that he'd fall asleep with me mid sentence.
At first, because I was a foolish young wife, I would get offended. How dare he fall asleep while I'm trying to share all the concerns in my day!! Doesn't he care about me and my feelings? Yet to him, he could not understand how I could be half asleep five minutes earlier while watching a movie, and then bright eyed and ready to talk once we crawled into bed? This did not make any sense to his Mathy, male, logical little mind. To him, going to bed meant going to bed to sleep not to chat it up.
But it made perfect sense to me. When we did crawl into bed, I finally felt like I had his full attention. There weren't any distractions...it was just him and me. And all sorts of things from hopes and dreams to fears and worries would just start popping into my head. I couldn't help it. Yet because we were newlyweds, I didn't have the history with him yet that reinforced his love for me. I knew that he loved me and was committed to me in my head for sure. But I hadn't seen that love played out over many years of doing life together because well, we just hadn't gotten there yet. So, I was more insecure in these types of circumstances and more prone to hurt feelings.
Yet this is why God has made marriage to last a lifetime. Because years of life circumstances in the midst of loving bring understanding, clarity, and at times compromise, to these sort of rough edges. And before we know it, we understand one another's tendencies and weird habits in ways that years before, we never would've been able to.
Many marriages end in divorce nowadays and it's so sad to me. I think it comes from a lack of patience for what is to come. Many simply don't want to sift through differences because love should be the easiest thing in the world if it's true love, right?! Wrong. Love is work. Love is labor. And love is perseverance. But it's also the most beautiful thing in all the world. Marriage is difficult at times. It can be messy. Figuring out how to love another in spite of yourself is one of the hardest lessons to learn. But good things are built one brick at a time, not slapped together. The long view must always be in sight. When I was younger and first married in my early twenties, it was difficult for me to understand that there was a whole lifetime ahead to learn, to change and to believe the best.
I haven't been married that long. But I've been married long enough now to know that no matter what, there's always hope. Always. The difficulties are more bricks being laid in the foundation. The joys are the windows. It all comes together with God's orchestration and over years and years, all of it becomes an incredibly beautiful home built by grace, forgiveness, truth, overlooking/forgetting faults and love.
As we've gone through moves, job changes, pregnancies, the births of many children, grad school and just life, our pillow talk has evolved. Most nights I'm not up to chatting myself into oblivion anymore because I'm just too plain tired. And when I do, Steve has made more of an effort to be there as long as he can before falling asleep. Yet once he finally does drift off, and I feel that familiar twitching that I now adore so close to my side, I fall asleep full because I know he loves me; I've seen it over time. So I don't need to worry if he didn't hear the whole story. There's always tomorrow.
And we both know, that as long as God has the two of us here, there will be many more tomorrows.
'Til death do us part.