MARRIAGE MATTERS || SHARING THE LOAD
by Ashton Cude
Hi there, blog readers! It’s been a hot minute since I shared some of what I’m learning in marriage with you all. This week I’m talking about what sharing the load means for us in marriage, as well as wisdom we’ve received on this topic from others. Read on for a word of encouragement and grace!
The good: When Andrew gave me what he called his “Girlfriend Speech,” (the aptly-titled spiel he gave me when he asked me to be his girlfriend) he said, “Your joys will be my joys, and your sorrows will be my sorrows.” (What a man, right?!) One of the cornerstones of marriage is being able to rejoice for one another. The victories will look different for each of you, but it says so much to your spouse when you can celebrate them. When Andrew comes home from the dental clinic pumped up about a successful procedure, I congratulate him and treat him like a big star. Andrew’s joy is equal to mine when I come home and tell him I came in under the grocery budget (like winning the lottery, honestly), or had a great day at work. Joy is contagious, and when practiced in marriage, it spreads to others.
The bad: My mom recently told me she felt like the Lord had made her and my dad strong for one another at different times throughout their marriage. When one spouse was weak, the other was strong. What a testament to how God fights for our marriages! So much goodness is cultivated in our marriage when we support our spouse during the bad times. For us in this season, that looks like me supporting Andrew while he’s in dental school. Dental school isn’t “bad,” but it requires a lot of him. I’ve chosen to have a part time job so I can contribute financially, but also stay on top of everything on the home front so he doesn’t have to worry about it. It is my joy to serve him in that way as he dedicates himself to school and being a provider for us. Some days the bad will look much worse than that, and on others our roles will be reversed. No matter what comes, it is such comfort to know we will have one another.
The ugly: Friends…sometimes life is gross. Cleaning up whatever just came out of the cat is gross. Flushing your husband’s puke is gross. There are plenty of events in the day-to-day grind that are far from glamorous. Some may not be quite as gag-inducing as what I’ve listed above, but certainly there are unpleasantries to be found in each day, just as there are joys to be found in each day. Let your default in those moments be to serve your spouse. If we can practice that servanthood and discipline ourselves in that way, we will become more like Jesus and have an impact on not only our spouse, but the world around us.
Those are just some of the ways Andrew and I are sharing the load in marriage. I hope you will be encouraged by my words to know that no marriage is perfect, but with grace and servant’s hearts, we can experience joy and goodness together. Check back in with us for more fun things to come on the blog! All photos in the post are by Heather Todd Photography. I decided to throw it back to our engagement photos this week.