Drifting in marriage happens, but my marriage never drifts into anything of value.
And without the daily maintenance of texts of scripture and the Holy Spirit, my drifting will always leave me with a sense of frustration and emptiness. Frustration because I don’t understand how I got “here” again; emptiness because the pursuit of my agenda always leaves me wanting more.
One of the most difficult aspects of my marriage is offending my wife and then having to make it right. Transparency here: I do not like being wrong with my wife and it kills me when I hurt her through selfish words or actions.
When I am pressed to make things right with my wife, I can often try to so quickly get to the what of a restored relationship that I can often overlook and marginalize the how. Meaning, how I get to that restored relationship. In the end, my attempt at an apology does not restore. My wife may say “OK” to my “Hon, I am sorry.” but we end up no closer to restoration than before.
God designed men and women differently and I am grateful for that. And though I am not out to stereotype us guys, there are certain tendencies that I see in us that are generally true.
For example, I tend to see a problem and want to fix it. And I have had to learn some awkward lessons with my wife when she tells me something that is going on and I immediately jump in with three potential solutions, all of which will remedy the trouble at hand. The real issue, though, was that my wife just needed someone to listen to her. Oops. Read that one wrong. I have learned some helpful lessons from that.
My wife and I recently had the opportunity to head to Denver to see our kiddos, grandkiddos, and celebrate the first birthday of our youngest grandson. I L-O-V-E this grandparent gig. My two little dudes are da bomb. And when I go there, it is constant activity until they go down for their naps or head to bed for the night.
My oldest grandson, who is 2, asked me multiple times, “Gampa, go with me to pway room to do puzzle?” And off we’d go to do his 24-piece Pete the Cat puzzle or 24-piece something-involving-a-furry-caterpillar-and-a-big-moon puzzle. Why do I know the exact number of pieces? Because we did each of them at least 10 times (exaggeration effects not in use).
I have noticed something about myself as a guy that I think other guys can resonate with as well. And I find it troubling.
It’s the misconception that the battles I face and the brokenness I experience are unique to me. I think of it this way. As I view my own life and the emotional and spiritual discouragements that I encounter, I am looking for solutions. Meaning, I want my problems fixed. I want to cease doing whatever is tripping me up; I also want to change and add new habits that are going to propel me forward into certain victory.
Just a little over a week ago our youth and worship guy at church got married to his bride. And our pastor did a stellar job of reminding those there about the why of their marriage.
That it was a picture…a picture of Jesus pursuing His church.
That it was a gospel reality in physical display.
As of the time I published this post, it was over one month. One month that I have had no running water in my house. We live in a rural area and there is no such thing as “city water.” Water comes to houses by having a well drilled on your property. That was a new experience for me growing up in California suburbia.