October 22, 2006

i do

a weblog is a curious thing. i don't really have a journal anymore. i mean, i used to sit for HOURS and just write in my journal. but since my arms started mysteriously hurting (loooong story), i haven't really been able to write for extended amounts of time. so the journaling has more or less stopped. and i miss it. but i can't exactly do it here, and i mean really do it here. i don't mind you people - friends and strangers - reading a little bit into my soul, (i just misspelled that word "soup", laughed, and fixed it...) but not too deeply. but i need to ramble tonight, and i think it's an issue that needs addressing...whatever. anyway...and maybe it's b/c i'm newly married myself, but there's a lot of marriages around me that are struggling or failing or are already broken, and it's starting to majorly bother me.

i know these people who have been married for something like 20 years, have four beautiful kids, and the husband has been having an affair for three years. THREE FLIPPING YEARS!!! *sigh* there's a lot more to that one, but i don't really want to take the time to ramble about it. and there's another family i know where the husband had an affair this summer, the wife forgave him, "took him back" so to say, and he did it again. *sigh* there's another family with a really long marriage under their belt where the husband had an affair and they got a divorce and the wife tried to commit suicide. *sigh* and yet another family where the husband walked in last weekend and, after 22 years of marriage, said "i don't love you anymore. i'm leaving." *sigh*

i'm telling you people, something is wrong. i don't really have the vocabulary or the mind power tonight to talk about all the aspects of faithfulness, commitment and self control. but i'm going to try...forgive me if this is disconnected...

it's been amazing to me what God has taught christopher and me about this over the years. in our 5, maybe even 6 years of being friends, we have never, not once gone to bed mad at each other. i'm not trying to brag, that's just how it is. my whole life, i have held things in and not been honest about my feelings or when i was mad or upset or bothered by something someone said. then along came christopher and BOOM. i share everything. we used to call it "my bottle cap". it was a real, honest and deep struggle for me when we first started dating. i just wasn't used to talking about my "deep" stuff, you know? but now it's almost second nature. anyway...i have a point.

something that has also been key in our relationship has been that we tell each other when we have a "mini crush" on someone. MY GOODNESS that's hard. but i think it's healthy. and i have a very strong belief that that is where affairs begin. it makes sense...listen. or, read...

you're married or dating someone, and you notice someone else is attractive. maybe you spend time around this person in a group setting, or at work, or something. it really is no big deal to think someone else is attractive, so you don't think about mentioning it to your spouse, or date. then one day you realize you're alone with the person, or something, and prolonged eye contact is made. maybe even a hug. all the time you're thinking it's not a big deal, so you never tell your spouse about it. over time, the eye contact or hugs become regular. maybe the hugs become more and more prolonged. and by this time, your spouse probably knows that you're spending time around this other person and you would feel silly for telling them, or confessing to them, your "mini crush", if you will (will you?), b/c they will ask you if it's been going on the whole time you've seen the other person, they will get mad that you didn't tell them before, etc. that's when it has really taken root. b/c the further and further it gets, the longer the hugs get, the more used to doing other stuff with the other person you get, the more trapped you get. and you just keep going until a full-blown affair is going on and you look back and say "how the hell did i get here???" (excuse the language, but i think it's appropriate) but now, weeks, months, maybe even years later, it really, really hurts your spouse. why not just start in the very beginning when it seems silly to confess?

"i have a mini crush on christian bale". i spoke those words to chris tonight. yeah yeah, he's an actor and the chances are huge that i'll never meet him, but i still think it's important to get it OUT of my head into his ears. i went on a trip to italy about 3 summers ago and developed a crush on a guy...who was MARRIED. wow. that's a confession. i think that's when this hit me - that it's possible for it to happen to me. i really could have been "the other woman" in that situation. sheesh. now i'm getting personal. and it all starts in the mind. telling chris that when i got home felt awful. even though the guy lived in germany, i needed to get it out b/c that would have been a seed for the next guy. probably.

i am not saying that chris and i are perfect. and i am certainly not saying that we are immune to this happening to us. that's what's so scary for me. with all this happening to people around me - to people that i highly respect and love and admire - i spent about two weeks crying - i'm talking SOBBING, people - into my pillow telling chris that i had no idea how to keep it from happening to us. (he was pretty lost as to what to say or do...hah!) but i did know how. and i do know how. and it's a really valid, effective, and REAL answer - it's Jesus. now if you're reading this and you're not trying to follow his teachings, please start. and if you're reading this and you think he was just a guy that used to live on earth but was nothing special, with all due respect, you're just wrong. and i have proof.

with all this ugliness in the world in all the examples i gave in the second paragraph, there is hope. and there is no way that selfish, prideful, greedy, and lazy people (i use none of those words lightly - really think about them) can do anything good or hopeful. it has to be something bigger than us, something better that us, something smarter than us. and that something just happens to be a someone that actually knows me, and you, and what's going on in our lives. (it's Jesus, in case you missed it) andrew peterson has a line in one of his songs that says "All of my life I've held on to this fear. Its thistles and vines ensnare and entwine what flowers appeared. It's the fear that I'll fall one too many times. It's the fear that His love is no better than mine." well, his love IS better than mine, and that's why he is the answer.

reconciliation. it's such an amazing word and concept. i know this couple really well - he's a pastor - and this is their testimony. they've been married for, oh i don't know...maybe 15 years or so? and a year and a half into their marriage, he was totally addicted to porn (it's more serious and debilitating than you think), and she was having an affair. through a long series of events, they are still married - one of the happiest married couples i know, in fact. and have two gorgeous children. (he says that "they were feeding off of each other instead of off of God - like two ticks without a dog" and now they are "feeding off of God instead of each other - like two ticks on a dog"...if you will) THERE IS NO WAY THAT CAN HAPPEN WITHOUT JESUS. i'm serious. in matthew during the sermon on the mount, he says "But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery." i find it fascinating that that is the ONLY reason he gave for divorcing. don't you think he understands the severity? the pain? the deep, deep wounds that are caused by that sin? i've never thought about it that way before, but our church has had a couple of sermons on sexuality and sexual sin lately (listen to them here if you want to - they really are quite good) (oh, they're "Inside out Sexuality" and "Looking for Love: Oneness") (and "Looking for Love: Marriage" is one of the best, if not the best sermon i've ever heard) and the pastor mentioned that in one of them. so i can't claim that as my own understanding.

anyway, my point in rambling...i don't know. it's mostly to get all this down and out there. it's a serious matter and it's being ignored until it's too late. if you're married and you're reading this and you have a crush on or are being too intimate - even if it's just intellectually or emotionally, not just physically - with someone else, go tell your spouse about it right now. you have no excuse now. you've probably been waiting for the right time, and the right time is right now. seriously. go. and then pray about it. prayer is more powerful than you think. and pray for all the people in the second paragraph while you're at it...

sermon over.

sorry my public. i'm just not as clever a blogger as some out there. something not as serious or heavy is that we took a 2.5 hour nap today, and now we're burning a "sugar cookie" candle and chris is playing guitar. mmm. okay i'm done.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

go girl go!

praise the Lord for the Spirit filled truth!


7:20 PM  

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