I mentioned yesterday that today would mark four months of marriage for Kellan and I. Four months of Are you really eating Chinese food for breakfast? ARE YOU REALLY SPEAKING TO ME BEFORE I’VE HAD COFFEE? Four months of honey, I think the edge of that forty pound mirror needs to come up juuuuust ¼ inch. Thankssomuch. Four months of combined laundry, combined bank accounts and attempting to combine two wildly different lives into something altogether new. By leaps and bounds, it is the most grueling, painstaking, thrilling and rewarding thing that I have ever done.
Books and sermons about marriage spend copious amounts of time talking about needing to die to your sin. While I have found that to be painfully true, what I have found to be equally true is the need to die to my preferences. It’s the thing that nobody really tells you before you get married—that just as much as both you will have to die to your pride, you will have to die to what you want. In the battle of Saturday morning brunch eaters vs. Saturday morning ESPN watchers, you must both wave the white flag of surrender in loving deference to the other person. You’ll have to die to what you’d prefer to eat for dinner [steak again?], what you’d prefer to spend money on [this in spite of your wholehearted conviction that dollars put towards certain purchases would be put to better use sautéed in olive oil and served aside the aforementioned steak], and even how you would prefer to serve the other person. Sometimes the most loving thing I can do for my husband has nothing to do with a love letter or a glass of wine, and everything to do with the unglamorous work of scrubbing the toilet.
And just between us? I would prefer the wine.
Dying to your preferences does not come cheaply, or without pain. After four short months, I know next to nothing about marriage, but I am slowly learning what it means to die to what I want every evening as I watch Kellan walk through our front door after an exhausting day at the office. Understanding that come six o’clock I am like a golden retriever puppy that’s been locked up alone all day, instead of indulging his tired mind in a run or half an hour of ESPN he pulls me into his lap and asks me about my unremarkable day. Dying to his preferences. He gets that unloading the silverware tray in the dishwasher makes me want to stab a kitten, and so every night after dinner, the man that didn’t know how to clean a bathroom when we got married kicks me out of the kitchen and washes every single dish. Dying to his preferences. And this morning, my short on time, non-coffee-drinking husband woke me up with a steaming cup of caramel truffle coffee in my favorite blue mug, because he knew it would make my heart go pitter patter.
He was right.
Simply observing my husband die to himself and prefer me teaches me how to die to myself and prefer him. It’s something that I am exceptionally bad at, [because let’s face it, I generally believe that the things I like are far superior to the things everybody else likes!]—but slowly, slowly, I’m learning.