I always saw myself as a fisherman/woman, but truth be told, I never had the pleasure of going fishing until my husband suggested it. I still don’t know very much about fishing, but everything I do know, he taught me. I can now fix my fishing line after it gets caught in a nearby tree. I can bait my own hook and only stick myself twice. I can throw my line into the water without hitting anyone around me in the head (most of the time), and I can pull my own catch from the water (somewhat).
I am no longer afraid that I’ll catch a catfish so big that it’ll pull me into the water and cause me to drown, and I don’t get bored out of my mind while waiting for something to happen.
During our last trip, I realized that our marriage is much like fishing, and there is a valuable lesson to be learned:
When the waters are calm and smooth, enjoy them.
We have not even been married for two years, and we have been through many ups and downs. During our fishing trips are the times we are able to put all of our differences aside and enjoy one another, nature, friendly competition, and stillness. There is something very soothing about the stillness of nature. It makes me extremely aware of the chaotic times we’ve experienced in the past – the moments of distrust, betrayal, anger, and doubt. It also has a way of making me as equally appreciative of those times we are able to sit in peace, resolution, courage, and compromise.
Even while I appreciate those positive moments, I am preparing myself for the next battle. With all we have been through, I have learned to be more patient with our relationship. I expected, because we have been together in some form since 2006, that our problems would be virtually nonexistent – that we would be equally yoked and able to coexist without the issues that “other” couples have just two years into marriage. I was wrong. Marriage is not for the lighthearted or simple-minded. One must be ready to fight and ready to battle, and one must be patient enough to watch the relationship grow and mature into a true union.
What I have also learned is that when I am preparing myself for the next battle, I should not be preparing to fight my husband. After all, he’s my partner. He is the one I’m supposed to fight beside, next to, or for…but not against. Who is the fight with…if not him?
I have started to surround myself with Biblical passages like the one above to help me remember who the real enemy is. It is not the partner with whom God blessed me. It’s the devil, who uses those outside of our marriage, my husband, and sometimes me to do his dirty work. That is the real enemy! All of those chaotic times I mentioned earlier – the moments of distrust, betrayal, anger, and doubt – are because of him. We allowed him to use us, and we have to be ready for the next time he tries.
So I appreciate the calm waters, but I’m always on guard and awake. When the devil comes to steal our joy, I will and must be ready.