As I have been pondering how to restart Marriage Monday posts, a question has been rattling around in my mind. So, this morning, I present it to you.
Who sees the “real” of your marriage?
What do I mean by “real”? Well, think about it this way. We all have a public marriage and a private one.
The public marriage, obviously, is the one everyone sees. The public marriage reveals much, to be sure, as others see how we interact as spouses. Are we kind to one another in public? Do we speak positively or negatively to and of one another? Are we affectionate, or do we tend to keep that private?
The private marriage, however, has multiple facets. There are certain aspects of the private marriage that should stay only between a husband and wife. Period.
But there are other aspects of the private marriage that don’t automatically have to be fully restricted. In fact, these are the aspects our children see day in and day out. They know the nitty gritty of how we treat one another in the privacy of our own home. They know the “real” of Mama and Daddy’s marriage.
Those are the aspects that I mean when I ask who sees the “real” of your marriage. The things that are typically only seen at home. Some good, some bad. But definitely not the picture that the wide world sees. And, in truth, it’s not necessarily things we want the wide world to see.
That does not mean, though, that we need to hide this aspect of marriage from everyone. Some people need to see the “real” of our marriages. And we need those people – and the sharing that comes with them.
On the day our moving trucks arrived at the new house, the Choate family, some of our dearest friends, came to help tackle day one chaos. If anyone knows moving, it is the Choates. They move every few months in their service as Wycliffe Bible Translators in the Solomon Islands. They definitely know what it takes to become quickly functional after a move, and they were ready and able to dive in right alongside us.
But, Aaron and Joanna also understand something else. They fully grasp the kind of pressures moving puts on a marriage. Those little moments of miscommunication. The ways different personalities prioritize what needs to be done and when. The stress of chaos and a lack of routine. The effects of exhaustion.
It was so freeing to not have to hide those moments of strain from our dear friends. And, it was even more beautiful to have Aaron look at us and say, “I’m already praying for your marriage through all of this.”
That kind of friendship is not only priceless, it is essential. As couples, we need friends we can trust with the nitty gritty of marriage. Friends who understand the private victories and can help pray through the private struggles. Friends who see and grasp.
So, I ask again: Who sees the “real” of your marriage? Anyone? If there is no one, then my prayer for you this week is that God will provide those friends for you and your spouse. Friends who see. Friends who understand. Friends who will listen, rejoice, and fight with you. Friends who know that the struggles solidify your marital bond. And above all, friends who know how to pray for your marriage in all seasons.