Clark and I argue.
I think this is something that is not really discussed a lot, especially on social media and blogs. We often try to put our BEST versions of ourselves on social media and in the public eye. That also includes putting the best version of our relationship out there.
I could easily tell about all of the lovey-dovey moments there are in our relationship, but that's just not reality.
We fight about stupid things, like how early you should start hitting your brakes at a stop sign (I'm on the right before is just fine side- Clark not so much). But also some real things, like how money should be used in our daily lives and whose accounts it should come from (Yes, we still haven't combined bank accounts...it's on our never-ending to do list I promise).
I don't know about y'all, but when we fight it's not the calmest moments in our relationship. I have an awful habit of staying upset and sitting in my anger for a quite a while...where Clark can be back to normal and happy after the "I'm sorry" and "I love you" is said. Neither is horribly wrong or scientifically correct.
Our emotions just don't bounce back at the same rate, and that is okay!
But coming from someone who probably sits in their hurt and frustration a bit too long, I have formed some pretty bad habits. And I'm being pretty real with y'all right now, so no judging...I know I have some serious "Jesus change me" still to do.
One of my worst habits is when I am upset with someone, even after the sorry and make up part, I still don't want to be near that person. I don't want to chat about my day with them, I don't want to open up about my feelings with them, and I DEFINITELY do not want to have any physical contact.
But in marriage, and relationships in general, I have realized how much the devil loves using our bad habits and arguments to build wedges in our bonds. So instead of choosing to love when I am upset, I choose to hate.
My sin is so deep, that I let it intercept the love someone is trying to give me.
After every argument and fight, Clark's first reaction is to reach for me and especially for my hand. There is nothing that makes me want to run further away than holding his hand in that moment. In the beginning of our relationship I would refuse. I allowed the devil to continue to build anger between us.
But then I forced myself to hold his hand one time. Even through my anger and hurt, I reached out and met him halfway. And it was like the hurt and anger inside of me couldn't withstand the love and affection being shown. It left.
I know it sounds kind of cheesy. Like a How the Grinch Stole Christmas moment, at least that's how I always envision my heart, growing three times as big when I choose love.
But, IT WORKS.
There is just something about that physical touch and choosing to love someone back, even if they don't "deserve" it. When I choose to hold his hand back, I'm choosing grace. I'm choosing to invite the ultimate Love and Giver of Grace back into my heart. But most importantly I'm inviting the Lord back into our marriage.
I want to challenge you: whether you are in a relationship, married, or single as could be.
Choose to love someone back, even when you want to do the total opposite. The peace and joy the Lord will fill you with takes the hate away. It gives you freedom to enjoy that relationship or friendship.
It is healing the hurt and pain, not making the gap larger.
So, hold their hand. In the Instagram moments, but more importantly in the not so Instagramable ones.