The grass is greener where you water it.
The grass looks greener on the other side because you don’t have to mow it.
In my last two posts about Kate Upton and about the key to sexual purity, I mentioned how the appeal of lust is that our spouses become too human, whereas lust operates in a fantasy world that doesn’t actually exist.
I’ve been married 9 years and my wife and I would both admit that we’ve had a good, but challenging marriage. A marriage we’ve had to work at. I think most marriages operate this way, most people are just afraid to talk about it.
What I’m in process of learning is that marriage is a lot like your lawn, as the landscaping quotes above attest to.
When you first met your spouse-to-be, not only did you not know their “full humanity”, as I wrote about in my last post, but they came in a very presentable package. I was walking through Lowe’s earlier this week, marveling at how cool and clean all the products looked in their pristine plastic packages and displays. I wanted to buy it all.
I then compared this to the mental image I had of the ancient shed from my backyard that we tore out a couple of weeks ago, and the moldy, cobwebbed, rusty, old-fashioned, smelly, and dirty who-knows-what products we found laying in there. 20 year old paint thinner, stacks of old storm windows, decades-old weed killer. All things that at one point were pristine and presentable and very desirable to purchase.
Our marriages can easily become cobwebbed and musty as well. And the allure of the plastic and pristine can become very powerful.
Imagine if you never cared for your lawn at all…
Or you never shaved, never brushed your teeth, and never showered…
So why do we think our marriages will somehow care for themselves? And why are we surprised when things aren’t so great when we haven’t been taking care of it?
Mow your lawn.
Mow your marriage, and the other lawns won’t be as appealing.
Invest in your marriage and it won’t feel so bankrupt.
Just like you used to invest in your relationship when it was still pristine and plastic. When it was easy.
This often feels so daunting. Unlike those perfect hunks on The Bachelor who are so thoughtful and romantic to take their bikini-clad soul mates to exotic islands, go skydiving, go horseback riding, go skydiving while horseback riding (now that would be romantic!), and go to 5-star restaurants in Paris, all “just because” (insert swoon), we somehow are unable to replicate this same type of thoughtfulness to our spouses.
With the stress of working and raising children, who has time or money for elaborate dates and gifts? Unable to replicate the super dates of television, we simply click into auto-pilot.
But the truth is, it doesn’t take much to keep cobwebs off of something.
Rather than thinking super, think small.
What is one small intentional investment you can make in your marriage today?
I’m not the best at this, but was recently challenged and reminded to do one intentional thing a day for my marriage and I’d like to pass the same simple challenge along to you.
I put my clean laundry away this morning without having to be nagged to do it.
What will you do?
- Ep. 69: Pastor Jack and Becky Sytsema on being in a mixed orientation marriage and how the Church should treat LGBTQ+ people - August 8, 2022
- Ep. 68: Thoughts on Hillsong Exposed, The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, & Willow Creek - July 19, 2022
- The Flip Side Ep. 67: Jack Sytsema shares about being a gay / same sex attracted pastor in a mixed orientation marriage - June 25, 2022