29 December 2010

Love and War

"We are created to love and be loved. And there is no greater context, no better opportunity to really love someone and be loved by that person throughout an entire lifetime than you will find in marriage. Of course, it is dangerous as well - the two always go together. There is no greater place for damage, too, because there is no greater place for glory. God uses marriage to bring us the possibility to the deepest joys in life. Satan tries to use it for destruction." (a quote from John Eldredge, Love and War Devotional for Couples*)

It's amazing how quickly a wonderful day together, Brian and me, can get so turned around. It's so easy for one person, under stress, to snap at the other. And then how easy it is for the other person to snap back out of hurt. Next thing you know, we're both highly unhappy...and how we got that way in that moment, we aren't even sure.

I remember very vividly the imagery Brian once shared with me as we were getting to know each other during our first year of marriage. It was after a big fight we had (probably over something stupid like the laundry). He said, "you know, we need to remember that we are walking around with big knives that could pierce each other in an instant. Now that we know each other more deeply, we are vulnerable to each other. We know each other's strengths and weaknesses.  Because of this, it takes no more than a few words to crush each other with our tongues."

I still remember that idea to this day - 6 years later - because he's right. I know how to wound him fast. And I'm good at it. And he knows how to do the same to me.

Having two little ones (especially a child with special needs) can be very stressful.  And like with anything, stress can cause breaks and fractures in a foundation.

Brian and I continue to monitor our marriage throughout our newest adventure of our second son having CF. We have been to counseling to help us cope. We have built up an accountability system - people in our lives whom we can talk to about how we are doing. We have tried some fun tricks to help us keep each other in the forefronts of our minds.

But one of the most helpful things for us, so far, has been simply uninterrupted time together (regular date nights) and reminding ourselves of what we ultimately want.

It is often that we say to each other during a disagreement or fight, "we're on the same team, you know. Ultimately, I want what you want." It is our way of refocusing ourselves from fighting with each other to fighting for each other.

"We're not playing house - we're living in an epic love story set in the midst of a terrible war." (a quote from John Eldredge)

It's a fight to stay married - to stay connected to each other - to stay in love.  Brian is fighting. I am fighting. We will continue to fight for each other each and every day. But it can become wearisome at times.

Nonetheless, love is not a one-time decision.  I have to renew my wedding vow every day.

I love my husband. 
And I will choose to act like it again today. 
1 Peter 5:8-9

 *a complimentary copy of this book was given by Waterbrook Press for an honest review. Which, by the way, I highly recommend this book. It offers some wonderful insights into why we marry, what God is doing through marriage and how to appreciate the process that it is.   It is an inspiring book that has reminded me that my love and commitment to Brian is a part of something larger than itself.

1 comment :

  1. Wow Breck, great post. I agree with you 100% on everything. Marriage is hard and it's even harder when you throw in a child with special needs. But we committed to our husbands (and our kids) and it's easy to forget sometimes.
    Can I ask, how often you go to counseling?
    As always, thank you for being open and honest. Makes me realize I'm not alone.


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