Saturday, November 03, 2007
The Early Days
A good friend of mine attended a premarital counseling course this weekend with her future husband. It was the same one Curt and I attended before our wedding five years ago. My favorite session was the one about the four personality types. I couldn't wait to ask whether that was still taught, and indeed it was. We had fun talking about what we are. Her: sanguine-choleric, her fiance: melancholy all the way. Me: melancholy-phlegmatic, my hubby: the unnatural "masking" personality of choleric-phlegmatic. Curt's personality blend is two opposite personality types. Neat, right? I married an irregular person. Actually, the choleric part is when he's operating in his spiritual gifts and the phlegmatic part is when he's just chillin at home with his woman. It's not because something awful happened to him as a child. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go here. It's really interesting. If you have housemates or roommates, it will definitely help you get along better.
Another friend, who happens to be my favorite Benihana's lunch date, has recently started a blog. Ashley is a newlywed as of July 20. She is in the throes of two becoming one and everything that entails. Reading her first blog entry took me back to those early days of marriage. If I'd had a blog then, I might have described our newlywed bliss like this...
Princess Amanda began her first full time job two weeks after her wedding. She now woke up at 5:45 a.m. but still went to bed at midnight like she did every night in college. (Which was a whole month ago.) Each night she took her birth control pill and woke up in a hormonal craze, intensified by exhaustion and disappointment in self for not having become June Cleaver overnight. She scarred her new husband for life with her early morning explosions and made him wonder who he married. Thank God, six months later she got up the nerve to get off the pill and become a normal person again.
On the first morning home from their honeymoon, Curtis and Amanda awoke unto wedded strife. Princess Amanda was accustomed to putting her alarm clock clear across the room so that she had to get up to turn it off. Doing so kept her from utilizing the snooze button and losing track of time. One and done. It became apparent that Husband Jones was accustomed to setting his alarm clock two hours early (no lie) so that he could hit snooze over and over and over and over until the last minute. Adjustment number one.
Several days later, when Princess Amanda decided it might be time to make the bed, she was prevented by Husband Jones from tucking in his side of the sheet. "But Husband," she said, "the sheet is supposed to be tucked in." "But Prin, I don't like the sheet tucked in," he said. Princess Amanda proceeded to teach Husband Jones how much better his sleep would be if he could start out the night with tucked-in sheets. Night after night, Husband Jones taught Princess Amanda how much better her sleep would be if she would remain on her side of the marriage bed. Adjustments two and three.
I won't even get into adjustment four. It may or may not have anything to do with the marriage bed.
Five years later, I'm a little less spoiled princess and a little more June Cleaver. A little, mind you. My alarm clock is Jackson crying or saying "A ball! A ball!", depending on what mood he's in. Curt's alarm clock goes off once... unless I'm out of town. In that case he snoozes to his heart's content. Sometimes I put a pillow in between us so I don't migrate onto his side of the bed. Other times I stay put because it's pretty much ingrained in my subconscious not to roll over that way.
I still don't get why he doesn't want his side of the sheet tucked in, but I leave it out now. I'll never forget when I turned the corner. "But self," I said, "who cares if it's not supposed to be untucked? He likes it that way." I even started smiling when I left it untucked. To me, that one little change hinted at something major. Could the miracle have happened? Could two completely stubborn, selfish people with different expectations of marriage, who really enjoyed wearing a black tux and a white gown, but who really resisted the sandpaper effect of marriage that is designed to make us holy, have become one? If so, it was an even greater miracle than teaching a man to leave the toilet seat down or teaching a woman to cook. And that is saying something.
"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." (Ephesians 5:21-33)