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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's Not That Hard

I wrote this blog after visiting Andrea's family this past weekend.

I went to church today with Anthony, Andrea's niece, her husband, Andrea's nephew, and his girlfriend. It was hard. I think it was the culmination of the whole weekend back in Wichita Falls. Just so many memories. Everywhere I looked I saw something that reminded me of our life together. Andrea's Mom still lives in the same house Andrea did when we met in 1980. I slept in the same bed we always shared when we came home for a visit. Went to all the same places we would visit. Went to our rental house, remembering Andrea and I picked out the plans, and watched it being built. Then I went to church where we would go on our visits. And as they say, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. The sermon was on marriage, and like every sermon I've heard on marriage it started with, "Marriage is hard work." I always hated when marriage is represented that way. It puts a level of expectation that marriage is supposed to be difficult like being sentenced to hard labor I know there are times where it is hard but I don't like the fact that marriage in it's entirety is presented as "hard work."

I just wanted to jump up and say "I disagree, marriage is not hard." It's not hard when your marriage is built on trust. A trust I felt the moment I met Andrea and Ginger. A trust that allows you to be yourself, to be accepted, to know you are safe. This is your most prized possession in a marriage and it must be protected at all cost. Trust is what frees you to love unconditionally. Trust is what allows you to love unselfishly and this does not just apply to the wife. As a husband I must love unconditionally. I must love Ginger as Christ loved the church. Husbands should think about what that means before they start thinking how great a submissive wife would be. To love your wife as Christ loved the church is to be willing to lay your life down for her. What desire do you have as a husband or as a person greater than your life? What do you most want in life? Whatever that is you must be willing to give up for your wife. I know the thought of giving of yourself can be scary. I know it is risky to open yourself up in this way to another human, especially if you have been hurt in the past. That is why trust is crucial to it all. It enables you to lay your life down. I do not think a truly submissive wife exists without a husband being submissive first. It first takes a submissive husband for a woman to fulfill the role God has for her. And when you experience a love like this you find marriage is not hard work but effortless. Things in marriage may be hard but marriage in itself is not hard.

This is what is hard.

Your husband being killed in war.

Watching your wife die of cancer. Watching her lips lose their color, and the feeling of her skin go cold. A final kiss.

An Air Force Chaplin and a Squadron Commander showing up at your door in their service dress to tell you there as been "an accident."

The numbness you feel at the funeral.

Standing before a casket.

The realization that it is not a bad dream.

Having to tell your children their dad is not coming home.

Having to tell your kids Mom is not going to make it.

Watching the chemo slowly dripping into the IV.

Watching a video of your husband made only weeks before the "accident."

Waiting for CT results.

An empty side of the bed.

Being a single parent.

Walking down the card isle on Fathers day or valentines day.


Getting sympathy cards instead of sending them.

Going to sporting events alone.

Learning to say I instead of we.

Eating out alone.

Cooking alone.

Anything alone.

Getting a package from your husband days after you learned he had died.

Looking into your kids eyes knowing you do not have the strength to help them.

Seeing pictures of Andrea or Troy.

Packing away their clothes.

Trying not to remember someone you never wanted to stop thinking about.

Any holiday or birthday and worst of all anniversaries.

Stating a new life.

Feeling guilty for being happy.

Crying till you hurt all over, and the headache that follows the next day reminding you of the pain in your life.

Keeping your faith.

Going to church alone.

Feeling like everyone is looking at you.

The silence at night and the silence when you first wake up.

Feeling lonely.




Knowing one of us will face losing a spouse again.

That is what is hard, being married is easy compared to this. We would trade you in a second for one "hard" day of marriage.

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