Monday, January 24, 2011

And Then Practically Speaking...


When we were first married my husband used to tell people that being married was like voluntary suicide. In fact the first time I heard him compare marriage to jumping off a roof, we were sitting at a little cafe and I was dipping my bread into my soup a little stunned. It was not exactly flattering to his new bride... but I happened to agree.

In laying down our lives for another person I have experienced - not just learned - that you are given back life. Not necessarily the life we imagined, but a beautiful life - a life of knowing and following Jesus.

On a Mother's Day a few years back my kids went out with my husband and bought me a necklace with little pendants that had words written on them. The words were what I tell my children they brought to me from heaven - the gifts that their very presence in my life has given to me.

My husband has brought me many gifts. When we got married it altered every familiarity I had with Jesus and how my relationship with him used to look. But I am learning that obedience does give us even deeper and more precious intimacy with Christ. That has both broken me and begun rebuilding me.

It is the most incredible gift.

As a follow up on expectations I have learned to have the last eleven years, these next things are the concrete things being married has taught me are essential:

1. Let Go.
2. Forgive. 
3. Pray as though our lives depend on it. (They do.)
4. Speak kind words.
5. Have a clearly defined idea of what personal obedience looks like. And know that I alone am responsible for doing that - not my husband. 


It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

- by Mary Oliver


Hannah said...

Great post, Misha. About #5 on your list: Have you ever read the Leadership Education books by Oliver and Rachel DeMille? In one of them, Rachel mentions that she has learned something I think she calls the "Tevye Principle" (from Fiddler on the Roof?) about talking to the Lord directly, instead of her husband, about any deficiency or problem she sees in him (not her words, which were kinder). She said she's learned to trust Him to take care of it because she trusts her husband's relationship with the Lord.
That reflection really stuck with me, and it often comes to mind when I'm tempted to meddle.

Misha Leigh. said...

Hannah - I would definitely second that as true! That is beautiful.