"Live with your wives in an understanding way... and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life." -- 1 Peter 3:7
This verse is talking to husbands about their wives, but it's also talking to me.
I want to honor Jon. Esteem him. Respect him.
And why not?
Life is hard, for starters. We're all full of imperfections in our personalities. And living with someone takes work. A lot of work. Throw some kids into the mix and busy schedules and tensions can rise. It's easy to fall into a pattern of being defensive with our spouses because we are most vulnerable to them, aren't we? They, of all people, know the most about us, therefore giving them an arsenal of weapons to hurt us with. Right? It's hard to honor that!
I jump to this extreme in relationships because it's somewhat of an idea how Jon and I began. Our start was a little rocky (which is another story for another day. A long story). And because I've known relationships get to this point and have seen divorce as a result.
I am so thankful to say, though, that Jon and I stuck together through some of those rough times. It was sometimes really hard. And sometimes really easy, too, but because we've been through some big things in life (in our small span of 8 1/2 years of marriage) we've really grown together, seen our relationship change and grow...
A loving marriage is a choice. This is important. It's not something you can base upon feelings or butterflies in your stomach or that honeymoon phase when it seems the other is perfect and can do no wrong. Reality will come and there will be stretches where those feelings will go away and you have to CHOOSE to love your spouse.
And so I choose to love Jon. And he chooses to love me. Which sounds so dreary and unromantic and unadventurous. But you know what those choices brought? Even when it was hard to make those choices? I'll tell you from my side:
Jon has chosen to clean the kitchen for me because he knows I love a clean kitchen.
To bring flowers for no reason or when I'm having a bad day.
He's chosen to look past and forgive my sometimes snarky remarks to him when I'm stressed out.
To help me put our kids to bed every night (giving us some super sweet memories and moments).
To call me and ask me how my day is going.
To plan dates for us.
To give me a hug or a kiss for no reason.
To fold laundry without being asked.
To lovingly confront me when he feels I could be doing something better.
To give me nights off to enjoy a bubble bath and a book.
To clean the hamster cage several times a week without one complaint.
To jump in and help me make dinner after a busy afternoon of soccer practice and ballet lessons.
He serves me.
And these choices, as mundane as they may sound, set the stage for something absolutely romantic. Something fun. And in return makes me want to love and honor and serve him - and do something exciting for him!
And I do. I love him. I respect him. I long to esteem him. He does so much for our family. He works hard. He seeks out ways to show us his love every single day.
I look up to him and I'm so thankful that he leads our family.
I love you, Jon Kelly. I'm so glad you make the choice to love me unconditionally, too! I'm so glad we're in this together!