Smoothing Out The Rough Spots

In case you missed my giveaway last week, one of the entries was to "answer a question", in which I asked what you all would like to read more of on my blog.  And "more marriage posts" came out as one of the winning answers (ie. multiple people mentioned it).  

Honestly, I've been thinking about writing a post about marriage for a while, but my plans never quite come to fruition on it.  And the request for a post on the topic of marriage made me think about why I haven't written more posts on the subject, and I realized it's because this is one of those areas of my life where I have no illusions of thinking I know what I'm doing.  

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I always find it a bit funny when someone who has been married all of a year (or less) talks about how they never even had that "first fight" with their husband, and then they proceed to give advice on marriage.  I personally don't think you're really qualified to give marriage advice unless you've successfully made it through one "big" argument.  Since Derek and I have (actually several big-ish arguments, to be honest), I figured I should get over my insecurities on the subject and just say what's on my mind.

Marrying Derek was the best decisions I've made in my life, behind accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  Being married has been one of the most stretching and humbling experiences in my life so far, even more than motherhood.  It's been stretching because when you are married you realize the need to put someone else's thoughts, feelings, and needs above your own; it's been humbling because through the last four years of being married I've realized how terribly bad I am at doing that.  

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C.S. Lewis once wrote that you don't realize how bad you really are until you really try to be good. I think that's absolutely true.  Just when I think I'm making progress something happens to show me that I'm really just as selfish as I was at the start.  

I've always followed the "rules" and done what was right, and was generally considered to be a "good girl".  But marriage has made my selfishness, my pride, my sinful nature glaringly apparent to me, and it's a reminder of how much I need a Savior too.  Just as much as the most obvious offender I can think of.

In Proverbs it says that "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17).  That's especially true of marriage.  Learning to live with your husband, accepting all the ways you are different, learning to think in terms of your marriage "team" instead of just yourself, and seeing more clearly all of your faults - all of that has a sharpening effect.  I can't tell you how many times I've gotten upset at Derek for something he did or said, and then shortly after (even the same day), I found myself doing or saying the same thing to him.  

And each time one more little rough area is filed down, just a bit sharper than it was before. 

Will I ever be done being sharpened?  Probably not.  Will I ever feel like I've arrived to that "good wife" status?  I'm not sure.  But I do feel sure that God is using my marriage as one of His tools in the process of making me more like Christ, and without being married to Derek I couldn't be refined in quite the same way.

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That's the beauty of marriage.  You may clash with each other periodically, but each time God can use it to knock off another rough spot, until in the end you can represent and serve Him better having been together than you could have apart.  

It's another way to bring glory to God, despite even the rough patches and imperfections.  And I think that's the whole purpose of being married in the first place.  


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The Unlikely Runner said...

What a great post! Thank you for sharing. Since I"m not married so I don't claim to have much relationship advice (although I was married once before and learned a lot from those mistakes). But the one thing I do know for sure is I have been blessed with a wonderful fiance, Alex and there are so many times in our relationship that I have felt God teaching me about my own selfishness. Alex and I are paying for our wedding ourselves and finances is an area in which I struggle but Alex is great at...having him help, guide and encourage me in the financial planning of our wedding has been such a blessing. I am daily reminded that I don't deserve Alex, in exactly the same way I don't deserve to have my sins forgiven but it's a gift to me because of God's grace. I'm sure you feel the Derek is an example of God's love to you much the same way I feel that Alex is that for me. Marriage on God's terms and with an open heart can truly be trying but beautiful. Thanks again for sharing.

Katie said...

This is great stuff Callie and I absolutely agree!

Bethany G said...

Wow, Callie! I think this was one of the best posts that I've read on marriage.

This line right here sums up exactly how I feel about myself:
I've always followed the "rules" and done what was right, and was generally considered to be a "good girl". But marriage has made my selfishness, my pride, my sinful nature glaringly apparent to me, and it's a reminder of how much I need a Savior too.

Honestly, Lee and I have been going through such a stage of bickering back and forth. This was such an encouragement and important reminder. Thank you!!

(Seriously. such a good post.. I just read it to my hubs) :)

Lauren said...

love this post! Marriage is hard, probably the hardest thing I've ever done...second only maybe to being a Mom. But it's oh so worth it, and those sharpening times are so rough and painful when you are going through it, but when you come out on the otherside it's truly glorious.

Dove of Snow said...

Love this post and your baring your heart so honestly! Thank you! I also love the photos. You are so beautiful and your husband is also quite handsome, you two are just gorgeous together!

I especially liked the last two paragraphs: "That's the beauty of marriage. You may clash with each other periodically, but each time God can use it to knock off another rough spot, until in the end you can represent and serve Him better having been together than you could have apart.

It's another way to bring glory to God, despite even the rough patches and imperfections. And I think that's the whole purpose of being married in the first place."

Wonderful! I agree and it also encourages me as I have not been married that long . . . . barely over 2.5 years! :)

Brittney said...

Beautifully said!! I couldn't agree more. Marriage definitely isn't easy but is 100% worth it.

Brittney said...

Oh and I love your wedding dress - you looked like a princess!

Claire said...

I LOVE this post. I love how humble and honest you are about marriage! And I found myself wholeheartedly agreeing when you mentioned that some days you'll be frustrated by something Derek does to you, and then shortly later you'll find yourself doing the same thing. I do that all the time! Thankfully God is at the center so we both are able to forgive each other and move forward :)

Melanie said...

Love your insights Callie!! I tell you..it doesnt matter how long your married..I know I learn something daily about myself! And I agree about people giving advice on marriage..if a person has never been married or not married long or had an argument ever..they really shouldnt be giving advice on the subject..its just not right. How could someone 'know' so much about something they've barely, if ever, experienced? Keeping God in the center of marriage is #1..its what makes a marriage work. :-)

Unknown said...

So well put Callie! Even though I am not a believer in Christ. I still totally agree with you from the experiences I have seen other married couples of through.

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