Last weekend, Greg and I went for a short getaway. We like to do that every so often. I’ve written before about why and how we make it happen, and it’s something that really works well for us in our marriage. These trips we take — whether big or small, fancy or simple — always serve as such a good reminder of love for me. Greg and I come away from them refreshed, renewed in love for each other, a little more in tune with each other’s wants and needs. But this time, I feel like I learned…or relearned…or was reminded of a very important truth. Can I share it with you?
We are partners.
That’s it! It’s that simple, and that profound. We are partners, him and me. Two halves of one whole unit. Complementary pieces of a puzzle. On our own, we are strong and capable. Together, we are a force to be reckoned with.
The Saturday morning of our weekend, we decided to take a walk on the beach. It was 45-degrees, but we were on the ocean and the sun was shining and the water was so blue. How could we stay away? So there we were, him in his shorts and bare feet, me in my jeans and boots and giant sweatshirt. While we walked, Greg kept a straight path. Veering slightly to stay on the best sand or get a good picture, but keeping mainly to the straight and narrow. Me? I wandered like a child, inching ever closer to the freezing water, wading in with my boots, and then jumping back when a wave came perilously close to cresting over and getting my jeans wet. His steadfastness and my flightiness imaged perfectly in a simple walk along the shore.
That night, he treated me to the most elegant and refined restaurant I have ever been to. This man who travels the globe for business and regularly entertains (or is entertained by) colleagues, threw on his jacket and cufflinks like it was no big deal. Me, I fretted over my (albeit adorable) Target and outlet store procured ensemble, primped over my beach-frizzed hair, and waffled back and forth about which jewelry looked just right. But, when all was said and done, we made a striking couple, if I do say so myself!
So there we were at dinner, cocktails in hand, both enjoying every minute. His presence gave me confidence, while mine allowed him to unwind a little. We got to talk about anything and everything that crossed our minds…plans for the future, dreams we have, issues that the kids are facing, just everything. Everything, and nothing that we could’ve discussed with four kids around, that’s for sure! It was heavenly.
But in reality, too…
That whole day, really, was such a lesson in love. A reminder that we both exist together, not just as Mom and Dad or teacher and scientist or what have you. But as a unit, a whole. Husband and Wife. Partners.
And this is where the rubber meets the road, friends. This is the real reason I find these trips so essential for us.
A couple days after we got back, a situation arose. A sticky, nasty situation that we thought had been dealt with came back to kick us in the tail one ore time. I was the only one on hand when it reared its ugly head, and I reacted briskly and a bit off the cuff, as I tend to do. But just when I was about to lose it, just when I was about to open my mouth and say or do something that I was going to regret, I stopped. I said, “I’m sorry, but I will not deal with this anymore right now. I need my husband, my partner. Together, we’ll take care of this.”
And we did. And, true to form, he came home and reminded me just exactly what this partnership thing is all about. We get the honor of being able to love and enjoy life and grow together. And we get the responsibility and privilege of facing life’s hardships together, too. Because that’s what it’s about, isn’t it? We promised “good times AND bad, sickness AND health” and we meant it. Loving and honoring in the fun times, the every day hustle and bustle, and the times of trial.
It’s not easy to remember this lesson when you’re mired deep within the ins and outs of daily family life. But I do think it is a lesson that the best marriages are built on.
God knew what he was doing when he threw us together as a couple of teenagers twenty-two years ago. We’re so grateful.
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ…and the two shall become one flesh.
— from Ephesians, chapter 5.