I have been so grateful for friends this summer who have graciously shared an abundance of their harvest with me. I don’t have room for my own garden and only have just a couple of potted tomato plants. But, I love to use vegetables for all sorts of substitutions in my cooking. We don’t use pasta anymore. Instead, we have veghetti and my girls, both too young to remember the days of Easy Mac, have veggie “Mac and cheese” and may wonder some day at a friend’s house why their friends macaroni and cheese is so different.
A big portion of these gifted vegetables has been, you guessed it, cucumbers. The girls and I love them and my husband hates them. So, I have been finding all kinds of creative ways to use them (I’ll share more in a later post). Now what in the world does this all have to do with a Messy Beautiful Love? I promise I’ll try and get there a little quicker (if you’ve been following me at all, you’ve discovered I have a quirky mind). One day as I was washing and cutting my cucumbers it struck me how getting the bitterness out of a cucumber can be a picture of how God uses our marriages. I learned a little trick long ago. If you cut off the ends of the cucumber and rub them against the cut side, the bitterness draws out and then you wash it off. The parallel- as the days, months, and years have gone by, there have definitely been times where my husband’s and my personalities and differences have definitely “rubbed” against one another. I can choose to remain hurt or angry, or I can choose to let God draw the bitterness out of my heart and see my husband through His eyes.
Enter a “Messy Beautiful Love” the book I am currently reading by Darlene Schacht. My parallel may only make sense to me, but this book is full of truths about our marriages, and how God can work in them, that are fully applicable. Whether you feel like your marriage is wonderful, or worthless, there is something here for you. Because, let’s face it, we’re human. “None of us can say that we have it all together when it comes to loving each other. As much as we might desire to love well, we all struggle against the flesh” (p. 56).
Financial problems, sickness, aging parents, a chronically unhappy spouse . . . trials will inevitably come that threaten your marriage. No matter how long you’ve been married or how strong your relationship is, sooner or later you are going to have a mess to clean up.
Messy Beautiful Love is about cleaning up messes God’s way, exchanging your ideas for His, and being prepared for both the best and the worst that marriage has to offer.