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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

You're Gonna Have a Lot of Fun

Marriage is hard work.

The days (and even months) leading up to our wedding - now officially a year ago - we were swarmed with the naysayers of the institution.

We heard it all.

The first year is the hardest.

Okay, but for real, the second year is really the hardest.

Everything is going to change. 

Life gets boring.

You'll get tired of each other.

You'll watch a lot of Netflix.

Happily ever after never seemed so far-fetched. Never seemed so scary.

I'd wonder when the tide would turn? When would the newlywed bliss fade away and leave behind dregs of misery? When would the man I fell in love with turn into someone completely different?

So we entered this season together. Husband and wife. Stopping every once in a while to look over our shoulders. Asking, are you really you? Trusting each other, but checking to make sure the safety net was secured beneath us.

Which we all know isn't really trust at all.

I was in a happy season, in a loving relationship waiting for it to fall to pieces. I was left with my feet on the floor trying to discern rumbling in the distance for signs of a bigger problem. Something that would escalate into something larger over time. That we'd need extensive counseling for.

To be fair, we did watch a lot of Netflix (hello, entire LOST series, I'm lookin' at you) . And a lot of stuff did change. Some for the better. Some for the complications that simply comes with bringing two lives, ideals, and schedules together.

But we also had a lot of fun.  





Perhaps it's my Pollyanna-sensibility, but people don't talk about how fun marriage and life in community is.

Sure, it's work. Sure, it's refining. Sure, it can bring you to some ugly realizations about yourself. When you don't get your way. When you can't get a dog. When you have to explain to another person why you really needed that Kate Spade purse that was on sale.

(Hypothetically, of course.)

We're new at this. And I'm not expecting our entire lives together to be a complete cakewalk. But somehow soberly expecting a large facet of my life - the most important one, alongside my relationship with Jesus and my family - to turn sour doesn't seem wise.

And it certainly isn't the way I want to live out my days here. Constantly checking my back. Constantly wondering what's at the next turn.

Further, saying marriage is hard work discounts the struggles of so many of my lovely friends who are single, engaged or somewhere in between. Their marital status is hard work, too. It's hard coming home to an empty space. Carrying the groceries from the car, up the steps. Getting an invitation to another baby shower or wedding. Saying, "thanks, but no-thanks" to the plus-one option.

We're not naive. We know that there are hard turns at every season, in every stage. Without warning, in this world, it seems as though the unthinkable could happen. To anyone. At any time. In the midst of any sin, neglect, normalcy, goodness, or endurance.

But, there's fun. There's joy. There's reverence. There's refinement - the good kind - the kind that makes you believe in your calling. The kind that strengthens you and doesn't tear you down.

The kind of joy that's represented in that 1 Corinthians passage that's grown a bit cliche, but encompasses everything I want to be:


Patient.

Kind. 


Protective.

Hoping.

Persevering. 


Trusting.

Rejoicing.

So, to those of you entering a season - any good, topsy-turvy season, marriage in particular: it's work.

And you're going to have a lot of fun with it.

photo credit: Breakfast via photopin (license)
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5 comments

Whitney said...

I've come to learn that your marriage will be what you and your spouse view it to be. If the mutual respect, love, and determination is there, it can be fun, meaningful, and the best decision you've ever made.

Brett W. Tubbs said...

Totally agree, Whitney! This has been the best year of my life so far. He's so there for me when I'm down or feeling crazy. I hope he's as happy with his choice as I am ;)

Kimberly said...

I feel I must apologize for not stepping in to counter the naysayers and tell you how fun and wonderful marriage is! I am constantly frustrated that so many Christians fall into believing our society's stereotypes of marriage. I believe it is our job to not only hope for better, but to teach people that it can be better. To be realistic in understanding that it is challenging to love another person selflessly and unconditionally, but it is such an incredible experience as well. To have the great joy of spending life with your favorite person, growing with and challenging one another, loving and caring for them and loving deeper than you ever imagined possible. There is a joy in that that does not get the attention it deserves from Christians. Jared and I made it through our first year of marriage and said "well if that's the hardest year, I can't wait for the rest of our lives!" I was terrified of marriage and wish so badly that someone in the church had told me how incredible it is to be married, it would have kept me from waiting in dread that first year too.

Brett W. Tubbs said...

Kim, your marriage in and of itself is a counter to the naysayers. I've always admired you and Jared (from afar and up close, too), and how you treat and honor each other - you're both just genuinely fun to be with as a unit and individuals. And, honestly, we all have a lot to learn from you both, just by watching. I agree that marriage is full of joy that goes a bit unexpressed or even taken for granted. It's deeper than newlywed jitters; Gordon and I expressed the same thoughts of well, if that was the hardest, bring it on, next 70 years! :)

Kimberly said...

Thank you Brett! That is always my goal, for our marriage to be an example to others in word and action. I know the Lord wants to use it for so much more than shaping and growing the two of us! Glad to hear that your first year was filled with joy and laughter. Here's to the next 70!

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