I’ve been on a bit of a home decorating kick lately. We moved out of the house we owned for 12 years about a year and a half ago, and we’ve moved 3 times since then. But since we’ve been in this one for almost 8 months, I’m beginning to feel like settling in, nesting if I can call it that. We’re renting a house in Cape Town now, and it’s made of cinderblocks stuccoed and painted. I discovered there were a couple of options to hang pictures on these walls: I could drill a hole, I could use double-sided tape, or I could not hang anything. So, since power tools and I aren’t exactly friends…double-sided tape it was! And straightaway I made another discovery: if I’m going to hang something real, double-sided tape isn’t sticky enough. Doing it the easy way, it wasn’t going to be able to bear the weight of what I want my house to look like.
Got me thinking. Isn’t marriage the same way? All around us, culture encourages us to take the easy road with love and marriage. But doing it the easy way won’t bear the weight of what we want our lives to look like. It certainly won’t bear the storms that life will throw at us. It takes work (sometimes power tool type work) to build a marriage that is sticky. Yesterday, my husband Greg and I celebrated 18 years of marriage. In that time we’ve weathered serious financial storms, infertility, adoptions, and most recently a move literally across the world from family and friends. In addition to these little things, we’ve had to deal with all of those day to day stresses and aggravations that build on themselves. Sticking together has been something we’ve worked at for all this time. Genesis 2:24 tells us that a man should “hold fast to” (that’s cleave in KJV language) his wife. That’s a choice. It’s active, not passive. It’s not something you do once. It’s getting up each day and deciding to stick together. Recently, our 10 year old came home from school and informed me that over half of her friends have parents who are divorced. She made us an anniversary card yesterday. It said “Thanks for sticking together.”
What are some things you can do in your marriage that will be the power tools to stick you to your spouse? Assess yourself–do you still do the little things for him that you did at first? Is it still important to you to make her smile? When is the last time you did something together just because it was fun? How helpful are you, especially in the little things? What attitude do you have when you have to go out of your way for him? Then pick up the power tools and work until you’re seriously stuck on your spouse, and they are seriously stuck on you. Because isn’t that what we all want our lives, our houses, to look like?