I was just brushing my teeth minding my own business when I heard the way-too-intense-for-this-early-in-the-morning-groan from Sweet Hubs. It wasn’t the usual I-wish-my-kid-could-get-his-own-breakfast grumble, it was more of an exasperation mixed with a bit of mild sadness.
Curious as to the culprit of this I poked my head out of the bathroom and saw what he was watching. The Today Show was doing a story on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition‘s newest cover model.
You know, the one they had to use a photoshopped ribbon to cover her exposed, ahem, dainties, because it was “too hot for morning tv.”
And yet it will be in the grocery store sans ribbon right at eye level when Chicken Little and I check out next week.
And it will be right there at the gas station adjacent to the gum the next time Sweet Hubs needs to fill up the car with gas.
What caught me off guard was not the cover photo, but rather Sweet Hubs’ reaction to it. The exasperated, mildly sad, frustrated reaction to the idea that he will be force-fed this image for the next few weeks until SI goes back to talking about actual sports. An image that he can’t unsee but didn’t want to see in the first place.
The image Chicken Little can’t unsee and doesn’t even know what it means yet.
It’s kind of how I feel about that movie coming out this weekend. You know, the one about the varying degrees of the color grey. Google search it and you’ll find bloggers, pastors, news media on either side of it, vehemently opposing it or supporting it or judging anyone who does or doesn’t go to see it. This post is not about whether or not you decide to see it (do as you will) but why I will not.
It really comes down to Sweet Hubs’ heart. The one that is intertwined with mine Sandlot style (you know, FOR-EV-ERRRRR).
Staying married in a culture that tells you happiness is the ultimate goal of marriage is hard enough. Staying married and subsequently choosing to love your husband every single day? Looney Tooney. The world says if you’re not happy, get off that struggle bus at the next stop and find someone else. Your kids will be fine, they’ll get over it.
Except they don’t. And they drag that baggage with them down the aisle and into the Nest later on. Trust me on that one.
My marriage is a sacred covenant. Period. End of story. Once I figured that out I became fiercely protective of it and scarily aware that images, comparisons, pasts, expectations, and regret can chip away at what we’ve built together and how so very easy it is to get complacent about the whole thing. We’ve seen it, we’re seeing it, and it doesn’t discriminate–family, friends, mentors, empty-nesters, people we love are giving up on each other at an alarming rate. Chicken Little needs us and I need Sweet Hubs and he needs me so we’re going to fight every day to shut out the noise from the world. Will it be easy? Of course not. Stay married long enough and you’ll get it.
It’s like Lot’s wife: she wanted the spoils of a worldly culture but she also wanted the protection of her God. Maybe she rationalized her behavior and the behavior of her daughters with comparisons to the other, more advanced, sinners in Sodom. Or maybe she felt justified. Or maybe not.
But here’s my thing, loves: see the movie or don’t, that’s up to you. But when you do, be prepared to invite those images into your heart, invite them to infiltrate your husband’s eyes and repeat themselves over and over again for a time. A night out with the girls is not worth causing Sweet Hubs (or my friends, even) to stumble.
The answer is no.