Chapter 6: The Cleansing of Marriage: How Marriage Exposes our Sin
Kathleen and Thomas Hart write, “Sometimes what is hard to take in the first years of marriage is not what we find out about our partner, but what we find out about ourselves.”
Ever have one of those times when you think your spouse is being unreasonable? And then you ask an objective third party (kind of half-joking because you’re sure you’re right), and that objective third party suddenly becomes a horribly biased person who agrees with your spouse? Um, yeah. Been there. Hated it. Not that someone agreed with your spouse, but that you were wrong. And then you think, “What if I was wrong about….”
There are probably lots of things we’re wrong about, and they usually end up being the stupid, petty little things that make us the most angry. Whose turn it is to take the dog out before bed. Or change the toilet paper roll. Or refill the soap dispenser. Dumb things that, in the grand scheme of things, don’t make a hill of beans worth of difference.
So why is it such a big deal?
Gary says, “Being so close to someone – which marriage necessitates – may be the greatest spiritual challenge in the world.” Not because we try to challenge each other, to spy on each other, or make things harder on each other. But because we are so close to the other person, that we can’t help but see the flaws. And since we all have them, there’s no hiding.
It’s in the revelation of those flaws that we are allowed to grow – if we have the right attitude. It’s hard to have someone point out an area in which you need improvement, especially if you weren’t quite ready for it. And sometimes it stings a little. But honestly, I’d rather have my toes stepped on and be able to make changes than to continue in ignorance of something I was doing that caused hurt to someone else. Those are some of the hardest, but best conversations we’ve had as husband and wife.
Hard, but so worth it.