The writing on the wall

Husband called me as he usually does at the end of the workday. We went over our plans for the evening as well as plans for tomorrow night’s sushi date to celebrate 19 months of being married.

“Sake bombs!” He exclaimed.

“Ha, funny,” I said. “But we agreed: No alcohol until our half marathon on the 20th.”

“What? I’m going to have a green beer on St. Patrick’s Day,” he countered. “I have to.”

The argument went south after that.

I’m not against green beer, but I am against breaking your word, and worse, planning to break your word. In a marriage where each of us are supposed to submit to each other: to respect one another, to support, and to hold each other to a higher standard, breaking a commitment, even if it’s a minor one, damages trust.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭16:10-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Angrily, from my treadmill at the gym, I told Husband not to expect me for dinner with his mom (while probably raising the eyebrows of the woman on the treadmill next to me). All I wanted to do at that point was yell at him about how he has broken our agreement not to drink before, how not drinking means actually not drinking, and how I can’t trust him in little things so how can I be expected to trust him with bigger things? I didn’t want to criticize him in front of my mother-in-law, so I bowed out of the evening.

A couple hours and a 5-mile walk later, I returned to our house to find him waiting for me. Sorry for what he said. Sorry for going back on his word. I apologized for breaking my commitment to weekly family dinners.

Do I believe he’s sorry? Yes. He’s learning how to be a spouse and a better human at the same time as me. Will he mess up again? Will I? Yes.

Thankfully, God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He didn’t send His son to turn us into perfect spouses. He knew we’d always fall short. But He did give us a model of what perfect love looks like: Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. Jesus drawing a line in the sand between the adulteress and the Pharisees. Jesus on the cross. Serving others. Forgiving others. Restoring others.

And thankfully, we’ve reached a point in newlywed life where we don’t expect the other to be perfect. More importantly, we’re learning how to quickly deal with our disagreements, resolve them, and restore ourselves in love. This sometimes feels like an endless, tiring repetition. But it can still be sweet.

While in the shower to wash off this day, I noticed a message appear within the steam on the glass wall in front of me:

“I {heart} KELLY”

Husband’s love, despite our argument, was literally written on the wall.

He’s not perfect, but he serves, forgives, and restores love to our marriage well. He doesn’t give up, and neither will I.

Never give up on your spouse when love is written on the wall.

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