Last week one of my old friends (not “long in the tooth” old but more like “we did stupid stuff in college and traveled Europe with nothing more than a backpack and now we talk about marriage and kids” old) asked me what Jen and I struggle with most. My first 55 thoughts ranged from “she likes weird TV shows” to “try to not kill each other” but I settled on something else….
Something we struggle with (and always have, as many of you can attest) is that we’re prone to let minuscule squabbles turn into full-blown fights (or “domestics” as some of our friends call them) rather quickly. We can go from “how come we don’t have any milk?” to “you have so many unseemly character flaws I don’t even know where to start belittling you” faster than Kate Gosselin can sign up for another reality TV show.
I guess on a scale of 0 to OJ Simpson we fall somewhere on the innocent side of things. But words are powerful and power can change the course of lives. James says the noise emitting from our mouths can be like a fire burning down acres and acres of trees. He compares it to guiding a ship through the sea, it controls everything, it blesses and curses. We’re just not always good at the blessing part right now.
So my friend laughed at me as if to say “you aren’t the only one, brother.” I know this and yet I can’t help but want to be better, to not struggle with unsightly flaws and embarrassing shortcomings. But that’s marriage, it seems to exacerbate those flaws and shortcomings to the point that you wonder why nobody ever told you about them before. That’s why it’s beautiful though, because it is refining and refurbishing, even if you have to go through the fire along the way.