I was meeting with a prospective donor yesterday and after we had discussed our work business, the conversation turned casual. My colleague who'd come along with me is engaged. I'm clearly quite pregnant. We chatted about such matters and he revealed that he'd had two failed marriages, one of which resulted in a teenage son. His son, he said, was getting ready to go off to college. This man's advice to his son was that no matter what you may think you're feeling, you will NOT discuss getting married to anyone until you're at least 26 and you've lived together for two years.
We shared a laugh and my colleague said that she'd spend enough time with her fiance (they'd dated for more than five years) to be sure that this would work out. While I respect the opinions of both of them, I could not help but disagree. Nick and I didn't live together before we got married. And we never fight. Both of my companions were shocked at this news. Our friend the double divorcee wanted to know what our secret was.
I thought for a minute and said that the only thing I could think to say was that we had learned in 13 years, what's worth getting upset over. Most of the things that upset us aren't worth fighting about. He's frustrated when I leave my shoes laying around. I hate it when he doesn't put dirty dishes in the sink. Is it worth a fight? Is it worth half an hour of our limited time together? No. The big stuff that we disagree on (where to move to next and the best place to store the vacuum) is better discussed over long periods of time. We're not going anywhere right now and we've both learned that the decision isn't ours to make and that really, it's already been planned out. We just have to wait for God to reveal it to us.
It's certainly not a secret. A lot of people would assume that we get along so well because we're never together. But I don't think that's true. We have had long stretches of time when we are together and do live in the same world. We don't fight then either. No, I think the secret really is that we were carefully chosen for each other. We both know that and don't want to mess up the greatest gift God has ever given us--each other. So we take care of it. It's not hard and it's not work. It's the best form of worship I can give.