REPOST ALERT: This is a repost from last December, but it is one of my favorites. I found it today and it helped me see where I have grown in the last six months. My marriage is just now becoming easier and we are learning how to be 'one'. Anyways here is the post:
Warning: I'm a young, handsome, newlywed. Some of this may not apply to you (if you are single), and some of you are probably years ahead of me, so be forwarned if this bores that socks off of your feet or beanies of your head.
I have been married for going on four months now, which just now strikes me as being 1/3 of the way to a year, that is so crazy. Anyways, it is hard, and when I say hard, I MEAN HARDER THAN HARD. I will stop you now, I'm probably not going where you think I'm going, then again if you are married, you might know all to well where I am going.
I have been an only child, the older brother of a half-sister, and the step-brother of four (one of those doesn't really count though). I've kind of been through the gammit of family situations growing up and boy did that suck, but I was the only child toward the end of my tenure with the parent(s), this isn't a good place to be. Let me explain (at least somewhat), have you ever known families that have the younger or youngest child who gets more 'things' and possibly 'attention' because their parents now have only one child to focus their resources and attention towards, well this 'kind-of' was me, the only difference being that I was usually the oldest and was thrust into the situation of being the sole benefactor of resources (not so much attention, but we won't get into that here). This totally messed me up, I became, and still am to a degree, pretty selfish.
Here is my problem:
Pretty Selfish + Marriage = Disaster
The funny thing about it is that you really can't enter 'pretty selfish' into any positive equation and come out with a good result, maybe meager, but that is about as far as it can go. Again, I'll give you some examples:
Pretty Selfish + Church = A "Christian"**
** A "Christian" here means someone who puts on a pretty image for people to see, but in reality they aren't being healed from the inside out, they don't care about the poor, or anyone outside of their current sphere of influence. They are in it for what they can get out of it: safety, 'fire-insurance', answers. They are commited as long as they feel that they are being benefited from the Church, which really isn't commitment at all.
So, as many of you would agree if you were in my situation, I don't want my marraige to be a disaster. This means that I need to remove a part of the above equation. Let us now look at what removing these would look like.
First we will take out Marriage.
Disaster - Marriage = Divorce
Not at all where I want this to go, but I know this is what happens everyday, which is a hard reality to face. The problem here is that I lose twice. I lose the love of my life, and I lose because I am still 'pretty selfish', which will only lead to more problems, not less, even if I do get a divorce.
Next lets try taking out Pretty Selfish and see what happens.
Disaster - Pretty Selfish = Death
Wait, that doesn't sound too nice either, there has to be something wrong. I have this disaster (which is made up of me being selfish and my marriage) and I take out my selfishness, I should end up with a happy marriage, or something like it.
The thing is this, to remove this selfish part of me, I have to die. I have to let go of myself and begin to embrace my wife, God, and this new me that in reality isn't new at all, it is the original design of me, the me who is hiding behind all the junk. The equation that leads to death isn't done if it ends in death. If you take my death (the end of this selfish me) and you add it to my marriage you will get ... well, I don't know for sure to tell you the truth, I am in the middle of the dying part right now. I don't know where this death is leading, I only have to follow it one day at a time.
But, maybe we shouldn't call it death. Maybe we should call it life.