After going over some bible verses and catching up on some personal development reading, I recently had a revelation about marriage. Both the institution and my own. I suddenly realized that I was missing a key piece of common sense information that can serve as a guide for me to all but ensure the success of my marriage. And what is this little gold nugget? My marriage and my wife are a part of me, not merely a very necessary accessory like a jacket on a cold day, but rather an actual piece of me””my hand for instance, specifically, my right hand.
If my right hand were somehow damaged or not functioning properly, I in turn wouldn’t be able to function. I state this both hypothetically and based on personal experience. In 1995 I was involved in a fire in which 60- 70% of my right hand suffered third degree burns. After suffering the initial trauma I was nursed back to health just enough to think I was okay. I remained “okay” for a couple months. On a whim I decided to visit a doctor who congratulated me for being blessed with the ability to heal well enough on my own. But he was quick to tell me “well enough” wasn’t good enough and based on the degree of scarring I suffered it was only a matter of time before I lost the use of my hand. The hand that I shook hands with. The hand I wrote with. The hand that I used in conjunction with my left to play the piano. What was my only alternative? Plastic surgery to reconstruct my hand.
What 24-year-old man wants to hear that kind of news? I dismissed him and went on with my life. But not really. Sooner rather than later shaking hands became so painful I would nearly collapse to the ground. I began to struggle to grasp doorknobs to open them and something as simple as signing my name became excruciatingly painful and virtually impossible. It got so bad I didn’t even want to get out of bed.
Four months later I was back at the same doctor’s office (hardly to his surprise), electing to have the reconstructive surgery he originally suggested. Within two and half months after the cutting and the rehabilitation, save some surgical scars, I was functioning as if nothing had ever happened. This experience taught me to take myself and all my working parts with the utmost seriousness.
The same scenario can be applied to marriage. It is inevitable that traumas, both large and small and both inside and outside of the home, occur between married couples. Hopefully because of love, but sometimes because of pride we dismiss the effects and impact that these episodes have on us.
“We can handle it.”
“I’m not gonna worry about her.”
“He’ll have to deal with the consequences of his actions.”
The problems go unresolved, get bigger and life gets worse until you don’t know how you’ve gotten to this place. The most reasonable thing to do would be to cut your losses and move on. But if marriage were your hand””an essential part of you (as it should be once you take your vows)””would you cut it off, or would you do everything in your power to care and rehab it until it is back to normal or even better than it was originally? I’ll wager you would give you all to at least try. If both you and your spouse have this mindset, even with the challenges, there is no limit to how wonderful your wedded bliss will be.