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On Crap and Humility

29 November 2012

Photo Credit: B.C. Lorio

Sometimes I get interviewed, randomly and without warning, on topics I’m hardly qualified to discuss, via text messaging.

I’m kind of a big deal.

The beauty of being a mentor (or at least a mentor “of sorts”) is that people trust you. The horror of being a mentor is also that people trust you. I was sitting at home on a recent evening, minding my own business, when I got this text message from a young lady:

What changes when people get married?

How’s that for a huge question? And me, with my seven years of marital experience … I put down my book (prayed a quick prayer), and asked her to narrow that down, or explain where she was coming from. The rest of the interview went something like this: 

People say EVERYTHING changes when you get married, like I won’t like the guy who becomes my husband anymore.

Everything does change, but how it changes depends on you. How prepared you are. How honest and humble you’re willing to be, etc. Some of the cute romance does eventually wear off because you get used to a person. It takes more effort to do things like go dancing or get flowers, etc. 

They stop pursuing each other?

Kinda. But if you know that going in, and you’re both committed to the relationship, then you make the extra effort. It’s hard to pursue something when you kind of “have” it.

And your roles change from preparing yourself for marriage, and the pursuit, to maintaing a relationship and building each other up … and practical things like finances and housekeeping and work.

I think [guy] really helps me learn about myself. Sometimes more than I’d like.

The good ones do that. That’s why it’s hard sometimes. The good ones won’t let you get away with your garbage just to keep things smooth and peaceful on the surface. 

I think a lot of spouses don’t realize their role is to sharpen the other one (“as iron sharpens iron …”), so they avoid conflict when something really needs to be dealt with. Or they tear down when they really need to support and encourage.

I kinda called Timothy out last weekend. I knew he was going to be mad at me for a minute, but he needed it. And he knew it. And he thanked me for it later. He does it to me too. And it sucks, but I don’t get away with letting the devil in our lives when he does it.

Cool. Sometimes [guy] does that. Hurts my pride temporarily.

Ya. But the fact that he does it is awesome. Hold on to a guy who calls out your crap.

Any random advice/things you’ve learned that you wanna share?

(See what I mean? I was not prepped for this interrogation at all.)

Humility is really your best friend in all of it. With the challenges of continuing to pursue what he’s already “caught,” you need to realize that it’s going to be different and not be upset about it. With the iron sharpening iron, you need to listen to what he’s saying in humility. When he messes up, you need humility to forgive and love him through it.

Your husband – whomever he ends up being – is supposed to be the head of your family and that’s not how a lot of ladies are raised these days. It’s not the model we see in society, and sometimes it’s really hard. Sometimes you have to let him be wrong, mess up, etc. Sometimes you have to follow when you know there’s a better way to go – so long as his way is not harmful, of course, just not the most efficient. 🙂

That’s, like, one of the hardest things for me right now. Letting him “drive” when I think I’m a better driver in certain areas, even if we both have the same destination in mind.

It’s so for a lot of women and it doesn’t get easier very quickly. You’ll learn a lot of things, and you’ll get used to a lot of things, really quickly, but that one may grate on you for years. It’s been seven for us and I’m just beginning to get comfortable with the idea.

But I’ve seen too many marriages where it doesn’t happen, and it tears people apart. Men were designed to lead their families, and when a wife is constantly “rebelling” against that, it has to be exhausting. Husbands seem to get angry, or they just quit. Then you just end up with a demoralized and/or depressed husband and a wife who feels bitter and/or unloved.

.

That’s where my phone started to die, because by now we had left home and been in the car for 20 minutes at the end of the day.

So, wives – especially you with more than my measly seven years, you black belt wives – passing that last question on to you: What’s your #1 piece of marital advice? 

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. 29 November 2012 9:12 AM

    I’ve been married for 30+ years and I’m still trying to practice this piece of advice I heard about ten years ago: “You are not the Holy Spirit for your husband.” There are things you should point out, but you are not in charge of changing him.

    • Lex permalink
      29 November 2012 11:06 AM

      Very, very good advice. There’s a line that’s not to be crossed. Finding and holding that line is difficult. Any advice on how to do THAT? When do you start to go from iron-sharpening-iron to don’t-do-Holy-Spirit’s-job, and how do you pull back from going too far?

  2. 29 November 2012 10:06 PM

    First, my advice would be to give your partner credit for all the good things they do.

    And my additional advice would be to give the photographer credit when using their work. (It’s part of the copyright!)

    • Lex permalink
      30 November 2012 10:12 AM

      B.C. – I always link the photo back to the source so people can find it. I should probably put it in writing too, though. I’ll update the post. Sorry if I offended.

      • 30 November 2012 1:38 PM

        THANK YOU! I’ve been burned in the past with a few of my pictures.

        Yes, make sure to put the name only because we all love to see our name in lights. *laughing*

        (Actually, I’m quite honored that you selected this one!)

      • Lex permalink
        30 November 2012 2:58 PM

        It’s gorgeous. I went through a bit of your Flickr stream when I found it. I love the way you get people in B&W. I feel like a lot of photographers hit landscapes and inanimates, but I have huge love for you guys that can capture something as complex as a person so well. Thanks for using the Creative Commons license, and sharing it. 🙂

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