Saturday, May 23, 2015

"Never talk badly about your spouse to anyone. Ever."

Why aren't anniversaries celebrated with the grandeur a birthday is?
I mean, I didn't DO anything on my birth day that I have earned any recognition for, yet I'm lavished with love and reminders that I matter.
On the day that I married my husband, what he was saying...what I was saying...was that we belonged to each other. We made a commitment, a covenant, that day that no other relationship has in our lives:  He is who I make my decisions with. He is who I will raise my children with. He is who will be there when no one else is. He is who I will work everything out with - for better or worse, til death do us part. 

Everyone wanted to be there for the wedding. Oh, the wedding. The quintessential perfect day that every little girl dreams of: the white dress, the flowers, the attention. We actually didn't want all of that. What we wanted was our feet on the sand and a moment undistracted with "show" to rest in what we were about to say forever to. We got some of that, our wedding story is a beautifully tangled one, but the point is, vows are a big freaking deal. An anniversary? An anniversary is a big freaking deal! 

Each year a couple stands facing each other, waking up beside each other, spending evenings talking together, dreaming about a future together, watching babies change together, tackling heart aches together, learning how to disagree together, wading the waters of the "worse" seasons promised in the vows together--THAT is what deserves the recognition, the love, and the show. The marriage still standing should get the free slice of cake after the entree, don't you think?
I live in an age and time of the loose lipped. There are a million forums to complain and defame what and who we love, a thousand people I can get on board to agree to keep me down instead of challenge me upward. There are few safe places to converse or to have the iron sharpens iron moments yet avenues, alleys and highways of people just waiting to jump on board for the fight & denigration. I don't want that world. I want the one that says, 

"Never talk badly about your spouse to anyone. Ever," and the one that reminds me "Others don't forgive and forget the things you say about your spouse -- they don't love them like you do." I want those voices that speak truth: "Sometimes the only way people know about your spouse is through you. Build them up. Always." ~unknown

The sad reality is, is that our culture doesn't celebrate anniversaries but instead watches the hourglass and waits for the time to run out. THAT is not what my vows were for, however, and it's NOT what they are to me now.
I am perfectly imperfect, flawed in every way. I make mistakes day in and day out, I succeed and I fail, I submit & I fight. I have a very, very select few women in my life that are the safe place to say, "this is the struggle right now," & they help me. They hear my words and instead of lighting the fire, they point me back to God & to what my part in the current problem is. That is what people need in their lives: fire fighters, not starters. 

Let the words you speak of your spouse by thought-full. Let them be praise & adoration for what you say of them is what they will know themselves as & how others will see them. Marriage is not a one day party you were invited to be the star of, it was a life long commitment you invited witnesses to. What story are you telling to all who stand behind you and watch?