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Cut and paste for a healthy marriage

in Parenting, Random Musings, Romance, Scripture Reflections

glue stick

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A few months after my 20th birthday, I stood at the altar with my teenage groom and said “I do” to the man that I first met in Kindergarten. Though we had moved well beyond the cut and paste lessons of elementary school, we had no idea exactly how much those lessons would find their way back into our relationship.

I’d often heard Genesis 2:24 quoted, but the words were just words until I had to apply them to my marriage. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

First, I had to learn to cut away from my parents and paste my heart to my husband’s. Having been raised in a Christian home, this was very difficult. I was brought up to listen to, respect, and trust my parents as my protectors. Severing those ties and transferring that authority to my young husband was a trying transition for all of us.

Second, I would have to cut my own selfish desires and paste together a portrait of a unified future with my spouse. The collage of sorts would be a portrayal of one joined heart rather than the separate ambitions of two individual people. Together we were able to build on that vision, grow it, and fine-tune it through the years.

The next challenge revealed itself when our kids were born. Each new life would require me to cut a little more selfishness away to make room to paste another heart into our family portrait.

Over time, I have grown to recognize that the bonds of our family are only as strong as the adhesive we use. My marriage, for example, required the strongest glue I could find. It needed to be able to bend and flex without breaking.  For my kids, however, we needed to use a paste that allowed us to tweak and move their location because sometimes one child would be in more need than another. But no matter the circumstance, I always had to make sure my husband was a higher priority than my kids. He and I must remain super-glued together to maintain a strong, biblical foundation for our family.

Even now, 16 years into our marriage, I am continuing to learn the cutting and pasting necessary to make our marriage collage stay in balance. It’s a constantly changing balancing act, but the results are a beautiful masterpiece that makes me feel extremely blessed. I wouldn’t trade the strength of our family’s bond for anything.


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