Sunday, August 9, 2009

Whitewashed Tombs, II

{taken by MW}

First off, I really appreciate your encouraging comments, emails, and even a few phone calls - one from my high school history teacher, regarding an earlier post, Whitewashed Tombs! Thank you! You are incredibly encouraging!

My intention in writing that post was to be open and honest. There's a great temptation for me to write our lives as a story book and to leave out some of the very things that shape and make us into who we are...the hard things that challenge us and force us to look our sin in the eye and call it what it is and do battle against it. Again, I don't think a blog is the place to air dirty laundry, but I am convinced there is a balance to be had. I'd like you to know that I asked T to read that post prior to posting, just as I've asked him to read this one. I wanted his blessing and he gladly gave it.

Off and on we've been reading Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. T and I take turns reading aloud...of course, we've been reading this book together for well over six months now... sometimes I pick it up and read a chapter solo. Recently I read chapter six, which has been particularly awesome. The title: The Cleansing of Marriage, How Marriage Exposes Our Sin. Thomas writes about marriage revealing just how small and unforgiving we can be.

"I discovered a hardness in me I had never experienced before....until I got married and discovered how passionately annoyed I can become at pulling out empty ice cube trays...Was I really so selfish that I was willing to let seven seconds' worth of inconvenience (to refill the ice cube trays) become a serious issue in my marriage? Was my capacity to show charity really that limited? Indeed it was."


Thomas also includes a quote from Helen Rowland that T and I both got a kick out of:

"Marriage is the operation by which a woman's vanity and a man's egotism are extracted without anesthetic."

How very true. And how very painful.

My vanity is being extracted. Warrior is doing great. MW continues to amaze me with her diligence in caring for him. T was off Friday and tended to every aspect of the little guy. And my heart, my hard and angry heart, is softening a bit...little by little. Writing Whitewashed Tombs and then having T read it was theraputic for me. The reality is, we are two sinners saved by the grace of God alone. We are both incredibly hard headed and stubborn and we both think our way is the best way and we love one another a lot. When two sinners live under the same roof, conflict will occur. I've watched conflict unite one couple, while it divides another. I hope and pray that as we face our own sin and failures and take responsibility, that the Holy Spirit will work in our hearts and make us tender and forgiving. And I hope that you are encouraged by me sharing this. I admit to a little fear as I hit "post" on that earlier entry. As Thomas writes, "My natural sin bent is to hide and erect a glittering image." He goes on to quote Dan Allender and Tremper Longman,

"Man was meant to be a bold creative artist who plunges into the unformed mystery of life and shapes it to a greater vision of beauty. At the Fall he became a cowardly, violent protector of nothing more than himself. Intimacy and openness were replaced by hiding and hatred."

We live in a fallen world and we are fallen creatures. And we like the erected, glittering image.

And we are, flaws and all. I don't want to hide and pretend like we have it all together. We don't. And life is beautiful, even through the tears. God has worked through so much heartache in our marriage...heartache brought on through a hundred different disappointments and difficulties, some from outside and some from within. We are husband and wife, and we fail often, and we are committed, and by the grace of God, He is sanctifying us.

Praise be to God!


  1. Thanks for the posts, helps me to see that there are other couple who struggle with things like us and don't always "have it together." We have purchased the book since reading your original post about it and are reading it together. Thank you! So slowly we are learning. And don't worry, we are about to have a baby too, and I would wanna pitch a major fit at Scottie if he brought home a puppy agreed to or not. Your feelings are normal, and you are doing a great job handling them as well as helping other by sharing with us.

  2. Thanks for your love to others in displaying our sin and the way our Father forgives us that we should forgive others... You challenge me.