Updated: May 25
As I watched my husband start building a playhouse for our kids this weekend, I carefully studied his process. He carefully and strategically built it, one board, at a time. Piece by piece he laid a firm foundation and then began adding walls. When the walls are finished he will start laying down the flooring and close in the walls. Lastly, he will add the roof and all the fun accessories including a slide, swings, and a rock-climbing wall.
It is complicated and detailed to build this thing. Both the playhouse and a marriage.
As we approach our five-year wedding anniversary, I can’t help but compare our marriage to this playhouse. We’re building our relationship board by board. Nail by nail. Piece by piece. When the sun starts to beat down upon our marriage, as it did on my husband yesterday resulting in a bad sunburn, we take the heat together.
When he ran out of lumber and had to make another quick trip to Lowe’s, I was reminded that sometimes we run out of strength in our marriage. Be it physically or emotionally, we have to run to Jesus and ask Him for strength to press on.
When the drill died and he had to grab the battery pack, I was reminded of how crucial time alone with just the two of us is to the life of our marriage. It is time to recharge and reconnect with one another.
When a nail got stuck and he had to work it out of the board, I was reminded that oftentimes one of us gets stuck. We get stuck in difficult seasons of loss, anxiety, depression, stress, and change. In those seasons, we have to help one another get unstuck and it almost always requires loads of grace and patience.
When he was hauling all of the materials in his lawnmower trailer, I was reminded that we both carry a lot of baggage. We are two totally different personalities that brought unique needs and struggles to our marriage. We often have to remember that we are a team and either we are winning together or we are losing together.
When I held one end of the board and he held the other, I was reminded that we either carry the weight together or one of us will get bogged down under the pressure of life. If one of us decides it is too heavy and drops the board, it will harm the other person.
When he poured the concrete into the ground, I was reminded that a firm foundation is crucial to the lifespan of our marriage. The playhouse will topple if it is not secure in the ground just as we need Jesus to be in the center of each of our hearts and marriage or we won't be secure.
When he measured and cut each board to fit perfectly into place, I was reminded that a good marriage requires strategic planning and intentionality. When schedules get too full and time is flying by, we have to recalibrate and look at the big picture together.
When he showed me his hands that were full of blisters and bruises, I was reminded that oftentimes we hurt our spouse with our words. You can't see the impact of your words externally but I know I have used words that have harmed and not healed.
When he finished for the day and collapsed on the couch, I was reminded that sometimes we just need to BE there for one another. Life is stressful.
There is no greater joy than having a best friend in a spouse to do life together. Marriage takes sacrifice and you daily have to put their needs before your own. As wedding season is upon us, I want to encourage engaged couples to really think about marriage. Put aside the romance, elaborate wedding, puppies, and rainbows. I LOVE romance. If you're a faithful reader here on the blog, you already know that I love "LOVE".
However, the real beauty of marriage is the strong bond that is formed when you're under pressure. It is like a diamond that has been under pressure for years and one day makes someone a beautiful ring.
It is beautiful and fun and WONDERFUL. Those are not synonymous with "easy" though.
Through all the dedication, grace, hard work, laughs, fights (everyone has them even if they say they don't) and MORE you slowly create something beautiful together. It is WAY better than any Hallmark movie on the market. ;)
Five years in and we are just getting started. I can't wait to see what the next fifty years will hold for us.
Wherever you are in your marriage, I am praying for you! My prayer is that God blesses you with many more years together and that you can create a beautiful life together.