“The first year in any marriage can be tough. When two intrinsically selfish people suddenly become “one,” there are bound to be problems, even if both of them are Christians. During those first formative months, healthy boundaries must be established. Respect must be given. A foundation of honesty and trust must be firmly in place. Otherwise, that same enemy will come looking for any cracks in the “oneness” and will weasel his way into something that God has ordained as sacred. In my opinion, humility, humor, forgiveness and communication are four keys that unlock the doors to marital bliss. God holds the ring that binds those keys together and keeps them from getting lost in the chaos of life. We must continually go to the Keeper of the Keys in order to have the tools we need to make a marriage work.” Excerpt from Same Dress Different Day, Chp. 4
As I press on toward the completion of this work, I continually review previous chapters so that my “voice” remains the same throughout the memoir. Because some of the memories have been difficult, it has taken me almost a year to get this far. In the course of this year, I’ve grown and changed. But I need for my writing style to remain constant. As I was reviewing Chapter 4, the above paragraph stood out to me. In rereading, I was reminded once more that it is only God’s grace working in and through each person in a marriage, that we can truly love another flawed human being as ourselves.
The keys of humility, humor, forgiveness and communication can easily get dropped along life’s pathway. It’s difficult to laugh when we sit down on an open toilet in the middle of the night. It’s hard to forgive when we don’t feel respected or our feelings have been wounded. It’s so easy to say, “I told you so!” when we were right all along, rather than quietly let the opportunity to “win” pass by. And somewhere between “Good morning” and “Zzzzzzzzzz,” it’s important to hear and be heard by the one human being whose heart matters most to us, because the state of his/her heart reflects that of our own. After all, we are one.
So, as I reflect tonight on the state of my marriage, I thank The Keeper of the Keys for keeping my heart soft today, for giving me grace when my shell of self-protection threatened to harden, and for My Honey’s whacky sense of humor that keeps me balanced.
Before I close my eyes, I will ask Him to reveal any “cracks in our oneness.” This kind of intentional reflection is healthy. It keeps small resentments from building up into fortresses. I believe if we regularly monitor the state of our union, we can move forward in confidence with the rest of our lives. I also know that every single area of life can be affected when our union is in disarray. And sometimes, that is not our fault. Those are times when we must become ONE with The Keeper of the Keys.
(Once again, Winter_can_wait, your image was perfect! Thank you.)