Love God. Love people.

Love God. Love people.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Tossing the Wedding Bouquet

Today, I tossed my wedding bouquet.  Yes, in the garbage. I was in an "A.D.D. Cleaning Mood", as my husband so affectionately refers to it.

You have been there- washing a load of laundry, then looking at the full garbage can makes you empty it. That, in turn, leads you to the garage where you find the lopsided stack of shoes, that you decide to rearrange...when you return to the kitchen, you see your child's Halloween buckets (plural), and you place their contents into a ziplock, after which you take the buckets down to the storage shelves in the basement....and there, you eye the beat-up, dried-out, dusty, decade-old bunch of roses you carried down the aisle sitting atop a forgotten bookshelf.  Which led me to take the above picture before tossing them into the trash.  At that moment, I realized I never shut the washer lid, and the washing cycle never started, so I went full-circle back to the laundry room. Tell me you clean this way, too?!

I had to pause before throwing out the roses, though. It made me think of the covenant that is marriage. It is a subject dear to me.  My parents rocked it. I learned a lot from them. They are perfect in my eyes, and that set the standard for me almost ten years ago, as I was prepping for my own marriage.

But, a decade passes, and just like that bouquet, all of us can relate to becoming beat-up, dried-out, and dusty in our relationship with our spouse. Hey, mortgages, kids, jobs, can do a number. And then you realize, "My marriage isn't like my parents' at all." But I have since learned, that mine doesn't have to be. Yours doesn't have to be. And maybe, in your case, it is a good thing you aren't modeling the wedded bliss your parents lived out.

A friend posted this anniversary wish to her hubby on her Facebook wall some time ago reading, "9 years of marriage and I love you more each day! Even on the days I want to punch you in the face."

I loved her 'realness' in that moment... Because most of us do get to that point of frustration at times, and very humanly rely on emotion as a guide.  It doesn't always take spirited sparring to ding and dent at your partnership.  Without ignited arguments even, marriages can simply wilt and weather over time.  Again, just like the roses, some opt to toss their partner because life isn't fresh, easy, or nice to look at anymore.

Here is a thought--- almost* every marriage is worth saving.

Worth fighting for.

Worth the effort or forgiveness.

Worth the exchanging of your priorities for 'our' priorities.

Worth being there for your spouse- no matter what.

If committed love is between the both of you, and Christ is the Head of you, your covenant is not a contract.  You love because you choose to love. Every day.

Jesus showed us covenant love as he walked this Earth.  He provided that example in forgiveness, kindness, patience, and a multitude of other qualities.  He was love in action.

The Holy Spirit is also our guide in day to day interaction with your spouse. Need peace in your home? Pray.  Need to be patient with your husband? Pray.  The spirit gives freely when you ask and are willing to receive.  As Galatians says, "And those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death their human nature with all its passions and desires. The Spirit has given us life; he must also control our lives." (5:24-25)

Later on today, I began to ponder the symbolism in the wedding bouquet, and I came up with this notion: new life can come out of death.... Those flowers are long dead and gone, and actually on their way to a landfill.   But, I am going to buy my husband a new bouquet.... Just the $7.99 variety from the grocery store.

Why? It would be a novel act of love that I have never expressed before. Because our life isn't always fresh, easy, or nice to look at.  They are a perfect reminder for me to keep watering, keep encouraging, keep praying for the covenant marriage that has been entrusted to me.

*With the exception of abusive circumstances.

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