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Picture your marriage as a grassy field. You enter at the beginning full of hope and joy, and you look out on the field and you see beautiful flowers, and grass stretching, and rolling hills, and trees, and it is beautiful. You want to walk in this all your days.
The grass, the flowers, the hills, the sky, the warm breeze is not what happens to you. It’s the relationship. That’s the analogy and I’m interpreting it for you. I’m describing your relationship. On the wedding day it feels like, “I want this woman, and I want this man, and we want to be together and walk in the beautiful fields of green grass, and spring flowers, and trees, and hills, and bright sunshine, and cool breezes. That’s the way it’s going to be.”
Cow - Pie - Seasons - Marriage - Night
And before long you step in a cow pie. In some seasons of your marriage, they seem to be everywhere. “This is not grass. This is just manure.” Late at night, they become especially prevalent when there’s no sleep. There are more cow pies when you don’t get enough sleep. These are sins, flaws, idiosyncrasies, weaknesses, annoying habits in your spouse, and you try to forgive them and you try to forbear, and the problem is they can tend to dominate the relationship. Everywhere you step, it smells. It may not actually be true that they’re everywhere; it just feels that way.
I think the combination of forbearance and forgiveness leads to the creation of a compost pile. Here at the compost pile, you and your spouse begin to shovel cow pies into this pile, and you put a fence around it to hold them in. You look at each other, and you simply admit that there are a lot of cow pies. You just bluntly say, “There are...
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