I asked my wife the other day if she ever gets tired of me telling her how unbelievably gorgeous I think she is. She smiled and said, “NO!” However, I also realize a thing that is truly beautiful cannot holistically be appreciated by just its mere appearance. What is beautiful to me is a Sunday afternoon, on the field, 3rd down and 15 and you know the quarterback has to throw the ball for a first down. You see the wide receiver running his route, you see the quarterback release the ball in his direction, and just before the receiver makes the catch….BOOOMMM!!!! The defender lights up the intended target with a thunderous hit that jars the ball harmlessly to the turf. That is just beautiful to me…but here’s what you don’t get to see in that moment. You don’t get to see the work that went into making that play happen; the long hours of practice, meetings, and film study spent. The early morning commutes day after day to the practice facility all while nursing nagging aches and pains from the intense contest just days earlier. Not to mention the ability to block out the family drama going on behind the scenes. What we see as beautiful when it happens live rarely reveals the struggle and the effort and the work that actually went into making it happen.
And I think that’s what I appreciate most about my marriage. Michelle and I hear people say to us all the time, “You two are so beautiful together. You guys are the perfect couple. I want to have a marriage just like you two!” Well, I will tell you it is possible. And though I would agree with everyone that our marriage is phenomenal, I would also share in all transparency that the beauty of our relationship is a result of the willingness to have the hard conversations, the work of listening to the other person and walking in their shoes versus standing intently on our own ground, and a mindset of blocking out the issues that would try to divide us, but rather be resolute in searching for the principles, the people, or the products that encourage togetherness. A great artist, a great actor, a great athlete….those amazing individuals who we would pay top dollar to see perform leave us in awe with the beauty in which they perform. But that’s the thing with the great ones…they make the hard things look easy. My friends what is beautiful to me is when I see couples not only committed to marriage, not only committed to looking good to the onlookers on the outside, but they are also committed to the work, the pain, the discomfort, the battle of what it takes to stay together successfully within the relationship. To me that is absolutely beautiful; yeah that’s what great marriages look like to me…but hey, the great ones, they make the hard stuff look easy.