It was at a bachelorette party. It was a little odd. I was sort of a party crasher. My husband's two cousins (and also our great friends who we were in town visiting) were friends of the bride and invited me to tag along for the bachelorette party. The introvert in me was really tempted to decline, but I knew the men wanted some "man time," and the party was going to include getting pedicures, something I had never experienced. So, I tapped into my extroverted reserve and off we went to get our toes fancied up, eat some nice italian food and provide some fun lingerie to the bride.
During dinner, I was learning about these new people. Three of us were married, one was divorced, a few were single or had boyfriends, and then their was the lovely bride to be. Not that I typically focus on a person's marital status, but it is relevant to the post. As customarily happens at bachelorette/wedding showers, talk turned to marriage and giving the new bride some marriage advice. Then it happened... the red-head did it... with the candlestick... in the parlor... Or something like that. No, what she said was that she didn't understand why people said marriage was so hard. She said something along the lines that marriage between she and her husband is really great, that they never fight and are just "sooo" happy in the short years they have been married. AND WOW. All I could do was sit there in utter shock, picking up my jaw up off the table as this woman has just said everything I wish my marriage could be and never thought possible. Inside jealously stirred up and I just sat there thinking, "why can't my marriage be like that?!" And when she was asked why or how they could be so happy, she didn't have this great answer filled with wisdom. Rather, she just simply said, "we just don't fight" and all I thought in my head was you "lying *****. Is this possibly true? How is she so lucky!?"
The conversation went on as a few more people shared, but for many months now, the words of the red-head still fill my mind. The more I think about it, to me, she seems to be having an easy road...a way too easy and unfortunate road. Which has made me think and actually treasure my moments of conflict with my spouse. Why? Because I think conflict is productive. I don't run away from it. I am not inclined to avoid conflict. Rather, I am inclined to "talk about it" and sometimes to my fault, I spend much too much time talking and not listening to the other person. But yet, at the end of my long talks, I typically feel the Holy Spirit nudging me and revealing more about myself and how I can continue to become refined.
I utterly love my husband. And he drives me utterly crazy sometimes. But most of all, I am utterly thankful for the unconditional love that he gives me and his gentle nudges that show me how to a better person. And I hope I can become a little more gentle in my nudges too. Because without that gentle nudging, I don't think I will become a better person. At least not as quickly.
Maybe the red head and her husband have the gentle nudges figured out. And I really mean it when I say I hope she does. Because the beauty of marriage is having your best friend, the person who knows you so intimately, nudge you to become more like Christ each and every day.Marriage isn't easy. Marriage isn't always fun. However, to me, marriage is the best example of Christ's love on the face of this earth. It is a continual journey of growing and developing into a person worth of being called a Child of God.