I remember turning to my best friend during summer road trips to the mountains or beach and shouting, “Rock, paper, scissors!” Even now, John and I will half-jokingly play a game of “Rock, Paper, Scissors” to determine who’s turn it is to complete a chore.
We’re told to have faith like little children so perhaps it’s no coincidence that this childhood game resembles my marriage experience these past ten months.
In ten months, John and I have moved to a new city, made new friends, bought a home, started new jobs, faced stress at work, coped with illness, and are learning to build our marriage. Without a common foundation, I am not sure what this first year of marriage would have looked like. Although it hasn’t been completely seamless, I am sure that it would not have been as filled of joy, life, and love if we didn’t have solid ground on which to stand firm.
If any relationship is to grow, it needs a rock base. Otherwise, cracks are exposed and crumbling erupts. John’s and my foundation is our faith. Life carries a lot of uncertainty and to navigate it, foundational truth has been our guide. In disagreements, different points of view, or difficult decisions, we can at least be sure of both of our desires to act from faith and truth. And we can at most have clear guidance moving forward from our core beliefs.
I don’t think I ever earned any gold stars for cutting in a straight line during kindergarten. Thankfully, now I have a husband who is there alongside me to encourage me when life isn’t a perfectly straight line from point A to B.
When one blade of the scissor decides to move, the other is forced either apart or together. Which way are you choosing to move and by default choosing to move your spouse – together or apart? Although still newlyweds, we have learned the importance of communicating how we are really feeling or what we’re really thinking. Only honesty will enable us to both decide together in which direction to move next or where to point the scissors. And when we are working together, we can pull the scissor blades apart momentarily to each work in our individual strengths, knowing that it will bring us closer ultimately.
Next time you play “Rock Paper Scissors” with your spouse to determine who’s turn it is to do the dishes, do a quick assessment on how well you’re doing of standing on the same foundation, verbally building each other up, and communicating honestly.