Image by Eric Kelley

Will and I celebrate 10 years of marriage this June, and if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s this:

Love, old love, the lifetime marriage kind of love, is hard work. It’s also the best work.

Some of the hardest, tear-filled conversations I’ve ever had in my life were just the two of us. Fighting for this thing called US.

And 10 years in, we have stayed, and I can honestly say I love him more than I ever, ever have.

At the risk of stepping on some toes and not posting warm and fuzzy things about love as I welcome February, the month of love, I instead choose to share these words from Paul David Tripp, from his book: What Did You Expect?: Redeeming The Realities Of Marriage. Here goes:

“You squeeze and crinkle the toothpaste tube even though you know it bothers your spouse. You complain about the dirty dishes instead of putting them in the dishwasher. You fight for your own way in little things, rather than seeing them as an opportunity to serve. You allow yourself to go to bed irritated after a little disagreement. Day after day you leave for work without a moment of tenderness between you. You fight for your view of beauty rather than making your home a visual expression of the tastes of both of you. You allow yourself to do little rude things you would never have done in courtship. You quit asking for forgiveness in the little moments of wrong. You complain about how the other does little things, when it really doesn’t make any difference. You make little decisions without consultation. You quit investing in the friendship intimacy of your marriage. You fight for your own way rather than for unity in little moments of disagreement. You complain about the other’s foibles and weaknesses. You fail to seize those openings to encourage. You quit searching for little avenues for expressing love. You begin to keep a record of little wrongs. You allow yourself to be irritated by what you once appreciated. You quit making sure that every day is punctuated with tenderness before sleep takes you away. You quit regularly expressing appreciation and respect. You allow your physical eyes and the eyes of your heart to wander. You swallow little hurts that you would have once discussed. You begin to turn little requests into regular demands. You quit taking care of yourself. You become willing to live with more silence and distance than you would have when you were approaching marriage. You quit working in those little moments to make your marriage better, and you begin to succumb to what is.”

Did that convict your heart as much as it did mine? I hope so. Because it makes the following that much more beautiful:

“One way God establishes beauty is by putting things that are different next to each other. Isn’t this exactly what God does in marriage? He puts very different people next to each other. This is how he establishes the beauty of a marriage. The moon would not be so striking if it hung in a white sky; in the same way, the striking beauty of a marriage is when two very different people learn to celebrate and benefit from their differences and to be protected from their weaknesses by being sheltered by the other’s strength.”

Here’s to doing the hard work of true, lasting, lifetime marriage love this month!

February Goals

Take my husband on a date
Schedule Marriage Retreat weekend
Finish New Workflow Emails
Launch the website refresh
Make Valentines with Milly
Read The Road Back to You with the Nancy Ray Book Club
Mentor session with business coach
Host a Valentine’s Dinner Party
Sign up for a Half Marathon
Start Training for said half marathon
Take updated photos of the girls
Finish editing all personal 2017 Photos

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I started reading this book after you posted about it and I think it is in my top 5 list. So good, so Biblical, and, yes, convicting. Praying I can convince my husband to read it too. In the meantime, I am working on my selfishness. I never thought about how selfish I really am!! Whew. Thankfully I am a child of a gracious God who forgives. I love that He continues to reveal to me those areas needing forgiveness. I love my husband and desire to grow in love which can only truly happen with God’s wisdom. Hanks for posting Nancy!

That quote is both beautiful and convicting – beautiful for the ways we’ve resisted the things he describes, convicting where we haven’t. Looking forward to hearing about your marriage retreat!

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