Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Marriage is a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors

I remember turning to my best friend during summer road trips to the mountains or beach and shouting, "Rock, paper, scissors!" Even now, John and I will half-jokingly play a game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors" to determine who's turn it is to complete a chore.

We're told to have faith like little children so perhaps it's no coincidence that this childhood game resembles my marriage experience these past ten months.

Rock


In ten months, John and I have moved to a new city, made new friends, bought a home, started new jobs, faced stress at work, coped with illness, and are learning to build our marriage. Without a common foundation, I am not sure what this first year of marriage would have looked like. Although it hasn't been completely seamless, I am sure that it would not have been as filled of joy, life, and love if we didn't have solid ground on which to stand firm.

If any relationship is to grow, it needs a rock base. Otherwise, cracks are exposed and crumbling erupts. John's and my foundation is our faith. Life carries a lot of uncertainty and to navigate it, foundational truth has been our guide. In disagreements, different points of view, or difficult decisions, we can at least be sure of both of our desires to act from faith and truth. And we can at most have clear guidance moving forward from our core beliefs.

Paper

There's few things more special than receiving a handwritten note. During our engagement and after our wedding, I saved all of the sentimental letters and notes that we received with gifts. I have also saved all of the letters that John has written to me over the years. 

Pen and paper are powerful tools for building up a marriage. I've awoken several mornings to John's kind, encouraging words scribbled on a note and left on the bathroom mirror. I've snuck a few notes myself into his suitcase when he travels for work. These small reminders make a big impact because the act of writing reinforces commitment. Taking the time to describe in words how much you appreciate your spouse has been an important part of how we choose to love each other every day. And yet, marriage is also so much more than a piece of paper. It's consciously acting and doing what's best for your spouse, and thinking what's best of them as well.


Scissors

I don't think I ever earned any gold stars for cutting in a straight line during kindergarten. Thankfully, now I have a husband who is there alongside me to encourage me when life isn't a perfectly straight line from point A to B.    

When one blade of the scissor decides to move, the other is forced either apart or together. Which way are you choosing to move and by default choosing to move your spouse - together or apart? Although still newlyweds, we have learned the importance of communicating how we are really feeling or what we're really thinking. Only honesty will enable us to both decide together in which direction to move next or where to point the scissors. And when we are working together, we can pull the scissor blades apart momentarily to each work in our individual strengths, knowing that it will bring us closer ultimately.

Next time you play "Rock Paper Scissors" with your spouse to determine who's turn it is to do the dishes, do a quick assessment on how well you're doing of standing on the same foundation, verbally building each other up, and communicating honestly.


**For more marriage insights, check out the blog Modern Mrs. Darcy for the Perspectives on Life and Love Carnival.**

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6 comments:

  1. I like your theme for your writing and your insight. Having a marriage founded on God and having a faith and trust in each other is a huge blessing.

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    1. Thank you, Deborah. Definitely couldn't do it without that firm foundation!

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Adriana! I have enjoyed looking through your blog as well - wonderful writing!

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