Unfortunately, I'm terribly, horribly, dish-water average. Most nights we don't have a gourmet dinner at our house. More often, it's a soup-from-a-can kinda night. An "Oh hey! We have spaghetti sauce in a jar! AND PASTA! TA-DA! Italian night!" kind of night. SOMETIMES I mix things up and SOMETIMES we get a little crazy with the presentation. But most of the time? Nope.
Here's the thing: I don't prance around my house singing the joys of scrubbing toilets. Or wiping down counters. Or doing the dishes and laundry. Ugh. Especially those last two. I just don't. Most of the time, I dislike doing those things. I'm not June Cleaver. I'm me.
And you know what? ME is who David married. Which means that ME is who he fell in love with. And the ME that David is is who I fell in love with.
The point is, we both have short-comings. We're both really, REALLY human. We fight. We nitpick. We get on each other's nerves sometimes. But even during those moments, I remember that I'm deeply in love with him and that HE'S the person that I really and truly cannot imagine the rest of my life without.
So it's okay that things fall apart. And it's okay that sometimes the laundry is stacked to the ceiling (I mean, it's NOT really, but it's not a deal-breaker either). And it's OKAY that I hate cleaning the shower. Like...HATE it.
It's fine. Because at the end of the day, our marriage is about SO. MUCH. MORE. It's about learning to give each other grace for our failings, even when we'd rather scream and yell and feel self-righteous about them. If we didn't have failings to begin with, where would those lessons come from? How would I learn to give anyone ELSE grace if I didn't have a family to learn from and practice on?
Because really, I think that that's a major function of family and why we are told repeatedly to love each other UNCONDITIONALLY- because when I'm being a monster and lazy (because let's face it, I really, really can be), and when I'm being COMPLETELY unloveable, the Hubs not only puts up with it, but he LOVES ME through it. Who can you say that about? I mean, really? Your boss? Your friend? The people you work with at church? I mean...ideally, yeah. But...really? Could you really, truly be your WORST SELF with most of the people you know and still have them want to see you EVERY. SINGLE. DAY?
I doubt it.
But HE does. And I do (hey, this monster thing is a two-way street!). And I know that I'm not perfect at it. Hubs and I have had some real barn burners in our day, trust me. It's not something that I'm especially proud of, but I AM proud of the way we worked PAST them. The make up part and the relationship building part, and the way we've learned to say "I'm sorry for x, y, and z. I was wrong" IS something that I'm proud of us for.
We learn together. And we love together. Even when it sucks and even when it's hard, and even when it really, really hurts and I REALLY, REALLY think I'm right.
That's what marriage is. It's not the dress, and the flowers, and the cake and whatever else. That's the wedding, and I think that in our culture we have forgotten that the two aren't the same thing. The marriage is the big send-off party that we throw for the poor, stupid kids who think they have everything figured out and have NO IDEA what is waiting for them out there. It's so we can give them beautiful pictures to look back on when they think that they never really loved each other and OH MY GOSH WHAT HAVE WE DONE?! It's definitely not marriage.
Marriage is beautiful in its difficulty. It's complex and unique to the couple in it. It finds its dignity in its years of struggle and sacrifice and "I'm sorrys."
And that's why I love my husband. Because he loves my awful, sticky, horrible, mean, small, petty parts. The parts that act like the world is coming apart at the seams when wet towels are on the floor. The parts that take balled up socks in the laundry hamper as personal attacks. The parts that are LEARNING and GROWING and EVOLVING. I love him because he has his OWN parts that are like that, just in different ways.
And I love that we're growing together like twining vines growing next to each other. I love that we've become so alike that sometimes I can hear the way his voice sounds telling a joke in my own inflection and delivery. I love that I'm STILL learning things about him, like the fact that he hates having the sheets at the end of the bed tucked in because it makes his feet feel trapped or that he really and truly DOES have a system for organizing his clothes, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.
And I know that at the end of a truly terrible day when everything has gone wrong and we've fought and it seems like nothing is ever going to be okay again, it is. Because he loves me. And I love him. Which means that we'll keep moving forward through the ugly together until we get to the good again. And because we did that, this time the good will be better than we've yet seen. Lather, rinse, repeat.