Marriage: Fully Decorated
By Christine Thomas –
If the décor in a couple’s bedroom is a reflection of their marriage, then we must have been headed for divorce court. The summer I noticed our dingy walls and faded bedding was the season I realized my relationship with my husband was bland, boring, and barely alive. Lorne and I needed an extreme room and marriage makeover. Stat.Our marriage was not in trouble. It had just lost flavor. No more spice. Granted, twenty years is a long time. We’d done a lot of living since the thrill of our wedding day. Four kids, four moves, four jobs—for sure, it was time to make a change.
Have you ever seen room makeover scenes in a romantic comedy where the hero and heroine flirt, skip, and playfully splash one another with paint? That wasn’t us. There were times of conflict. For a week, we were stalemated because he didn’t like the toile comforter I kept showing him on the internet. I could picture us cozying together under the subdued black and white pattern, and the red dishes in the JCPenney web-picture would look just as good on our wall as they did on the website. Lorne said something about our bedroom not being a kitchen, but he obviously didn’t understand the finer points of interior design.
I didn’t want to submit to a different décor. After all my married years, I still struggled with the “S” word. My shelves were filled with books galore on what makes a happy marriage, and submission was a topic that warranted a chapter in each one. But the head knowledge had not traveled to my heart. I fought him with all my persuasive skills. However, my repeated attempts to wear him down even began to grate on my nerves.
If submitting to my husband meant putting him first–yielding to his needs, priorities, and desires before my own—as the books said, then I was way off base. At the same time Lorne gave in on the toile design and fine china, I gave in to the Holy Spirit’s conviction that I needed to let the issue go. I mean, how peaceful would our bedroom sanctuary really be knowing my husband was coerced into the décor?
With the walls alive in muted green, it was time to fill the room with new stuff, and that meant engaging in one of my favorite activities–shopping. Filled with the hope of finding merchandise to fill our new love nest, we popped in and out of stores. Although mindful of the lessons this makeover had taught me about a submissive attitude, I did not hold back in sharing my opinion. When Lorne would hold up a lamp I’d declare, “Boring.” Or if he showed me a picture, I’d judge, “Gaudy.” Before I knew it, my critical comments had deflated my shopping buddy.
After one long outing yielded no bedroom booty, we both came home frustrated. The rest of the weekend was heavy with strife. On Monday during school, my 9-year-old copied Proverbs 12:18 in his handwriting book. I planned to quickly scan his words for neatness, but the message stopped me cold.
Reckless words pierce like a sword. But the tongue of the wise brings healing.
I called Lorne at work and apologized for my critical spirit. This room re-do was doing me in. The Lord was calling for a makeover in my heart, and everywhere I turned I was getting reprimanded for my recklessness in wifehood. But it was true. If I could resist the urge to spew criticism, I might see more peace and serenity in my relationship.
A pair of plush, red pillows sit as the final touches on our beautiful bed. To me, they serve as reminders of the scarlet passion with which we regard our marriage. We not only desire, but strive to make our union a reflection of our relationship with our Savior—alive, vibrant, growing, and unified. The summer of our bedroom makeover, we not only found the secret to God’s desire for our union, but the paint and fabric to match.
Christine Thomas lives happily in Denton, Texas with her husband of 21 years. She homeschools her children and works part-time with her husband in his web design business.