All garlic, all the time
By Janel Breitenstein
So when we first married, I was an okay cook. Maybe a good one, if your own mom usually made mac and cheese with little hot dogs cut up in it. But I certainly thought I was above average.
I do remember a time when we hosted friends and I thought it was cool that there was this theme of a single ingredient—garlic—in every dish. The idea of contrast for the palate hadn’t really registered yet, y’know?
But my husband, who can cook chili, toast, and cold cereal, has been faithfully eating my food for nearly two decades now. My creative side is still constantly trying new recipes, but let’s just say I know what recipes to try and how to try them.
His gentle, constructive feedback (... usually) has helped me to become a cook who makes a pretty decent eggs Benedict, delicious carbonara, and scrumptious cinnamon rolls.
It’s quite a step up from the all-garlic-all-the-time fiasco.
Part of any great marriage is recognizing our spouses, and ourselves, are in a process. There’s unique grace involved with seeing your spouse not just for who they are—and not just for what you wish they’d be—but who they are becoming.
I personally think marrying my husband was a lot like Forrest Gump saying he invested in a “fruit company”... which happened to be Apple. I had no idea the beauty God was creating in my husband for Himself.
Over and over, God—all too familiar with the ways of humans—describes Himself as “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Psalm 103:8, 145:8, Exodus 34:6, and at least five other passages). I wonder: Does this describe me as my husband works out this stunning process of holiness? Do I see my spouse as more than the sum of his or her weaknesses?
What could God be cooking up in your spouse?
THE GOOD STUFF: I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)
ACTION POINTS: The next time your spouse (or self) isn’t meeting your ideal, seek God’s patience and wisdom as you wait for His long game. Ask Him to show you how to graciously “stir up one another to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24).
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