Sometime early in our nearly thirty years of matrimony, I bought Tammy a bumper sticker that reads “Marriage is finding that special person to annoy the rest of your life.” As amusing as this turn of phrase sounds, there is a large truth found in the laughter.
We annoy each other at every opportunity. She likes talking softly from the other end of the house to see if I can hear, comprehend, and reply accordingly. I prefer bringing up old stories like the deer incident and endless dad jokes. Most of the time we say or do something with only minor irritation. On rare occasions, these actions rise to hurt the other and yet we still come together at the end of the day. Most provocations come from unintentional actions and others from intentional words or deeds. Tammy is convinced I am the only husband who likes picking on his wife.
How do two people live together while constantly annoying each other? I am reminded of a baseball award given out every year in the name of the most losing pitcher of all time. The award is called Cy Young who just happens to be the most winning pitcher of all time, by far.
To annoy a spouse for a lifetime, there has to be an overwhelming amount of love and care through intentional actions toward each other. Paul writes how spouses should submit to each other out of reverence for Christ. It is this love of God that drives us to love each other for nearly three decades. It is our human nature to annoy each other for the same amount of time.
For as long as we live, we will annoy one another. By God’s grace, we can live with annoyance because our love is stronger than the irritation we create. It is grace that tempers our selfishness while overflowing the marriage with love.
My advice to young people looking at marriage is to examine your relationship while asking the question, “Can I live fifty-plus years with this person annoying me every day.”
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