Recently I read this amazing post about marriage. It’s one of the most profound posts I’ve ever read on the topic.
The writer mentioned that there’s a noticeable sag in the middle of her bed resulting from how she and her husband lay coupled up together at night. Here are her words…
“Dear Husband…. so yeah, yeah—- our mattress sags in the middle.”
“You can see it, even when the sheets are pulled up taut, how the springs at the centre have been flattened by the sheer weight of glory.”
Later on in the post, she goes on to say…
“We roll to the middle of the mattress, you and I, finding each other in the valleys.”
That’s so incredibly poetic, but if you’re anything like me, that kind of statement can tend to rattle you a bit as a wife. Hearing something good or admirable about another marriage can tend to make me question the strength of my own.
Maybe that’s just the weirdo in me, but I have a feeling I’m not alone.
When my sisters in Christ share praise worthy tidbits about their marriage they are simply trying to encourage other women, give their husband some much deserved praise, or give God glory for what He’s done in their marriage.
But, I seem to have some weird kind of knee-jerk reaction to hearing such praise. Even when I’m genuinely happy for them I start comparing my husband and my marriage to theirs.
Once, a dear sister shared that her husband did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen one night while she retired early. Though I was happy for her, I automatically thought about how I sometimes resent that my husband does not do dishes – even though I have expressed to him a million times that I wish he would!
When I take my kids to soccer practice on Saturday mornings and see other dads who are there regularly to cheer on their kids, while my husband is at home, it tends to make me wish my husband was more like theirs.
One of my stay-at-home girlfriends mentioned to me that her husband does all the grocery shopping. I was so happy for her (the spoiled fart!), but that somehow triggered the thought that my husband should be doing the same thing.
I have heard of other husbands who work all day and come home and fold laundry late at night with their wives, who routinely put their kids to bed after having read them bedtime stories, or who even cook dinner. Wowsa! My husband’s idea of cooking is ordering takeout. 🙂
If you can’t tell, I day dream about my husband helping me with household chores and I constantly have to fight against comparing him to other husbands. It seems to be the way I’m wired.
Back to the noticeable sag in the middle of the other lady’s bed…
Of course, that post got me to thinking about my own bed. And to be honest with you, I don’t have a noticeable sag in the middle of mine – I have a slight hump! Yes, I said hump!
And if we’re connecting dots…and her sag represents intimacy and marital “glory”, my hump could reasonably represent emotional distance and a lack-luster marriage. Right?
Sag = good?
Hump = bad?
No, not necessarily.
You’d be surprised how God (and some marital perspective) has helped me to see why my hump is not bad at all!
My husband works nights, and most of the time I go to bed when he’s on his way out of the door. Coupling and creating sags could only happen twice a week for us. No sag’s for me!
On the contrary, I have a (slight) hump. If I wanted to get rid of that dastardly hump I’d have to feverishly jump up and down on it and risk breaking my fragile IKEA bed – not the best idea.
I may have a hump, but there are other things that demonstrate how my husband and I “find each other in the valleys” and experience “glory” in our marriage. (Thank you, Lord!)
I have to find the good in my own marriage!
The “good” that’s happening for another wife may not be happening for me, but that doesn’t cancel out the “good” that is happening for me.
My husband is not one for taking on household chores. If he did, it would make my skirt fly up! And even though I have a tendency to judge him by how often he does (or does not) perform these functions, that doesn’t mean he loves me any less or is any less dedicated to the well-being of our family.
Case in point: he routinely works overtime so that I can be home with the kids. During his off time he takes care of all of the bills and manages our property. When he should be sleeping he uses his time to be available to me and the kids. Yes, he likes me to cook the food, but when things are tight he won’t even accept a plate; he takes a pass and tells us to eat ’till our hearts are content. He tells me he loves me every day and would take a bullet for me. This man is AMAZING and he has his own personal fan club (I kid you not!)…BUT he is NOT perfect.
I have to find the good in my own marriage.
Maybe your point of contention has nothing to do with domestic chores.
Maybe it’s finances: you balance the check book, but you’d prefer him to do it.
Maybe it’s spiritual leadership: you have to spearhead Bible devotions with the kids, but you wish he would.
Maybe it’s discipline: you have to correct the kids and set them straight when they step out of line, but you wish it were his cup of tea.
Maybe it’s showing love: you’re the one who sends the flowers, but you wish he were more romantic.
However, if you look for the good in your own marriage, you might realize that…
He’s not strong in finances, but he loves you to eternity and back.
He doesn’t lead in family devotions, but he provides strong leadership otherwise.
He’s not a disciplinarian, but he’s great at being emotionally available to you and the kids.
He doesn’t tell you he loves you as often as he should (and may occasionally disappoint you on Valentine’s Day), but he provides for you like a champ and makes sure that your every need is cared for.
There’s many ways to say, “I love you.”
She has a sag. I have a hump.
It’s going to be OK.