“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.” Proverbs 11:3
When I think about marriage this verse is a great day to day “road map”. Keeping it simple means maintaining your integrity. Integrity means, “1. Rigid adherence to a code of behavior;probity. 2. The state of being unimpaired; soundness. 3. Completeness: unity.” according to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.
The state of being unimpaired; soundness, completeness; unity, I like the sound of those words when I think of marriage. I would like our marriage to be unimpaired, sound, complete and unified. In contrast, duplicity means “deliberate deceptiveness in behavior or speech; double – dealing.” That sounds so harsh when I think of marriage. Surely, I don’t “deliberately deceive” my husband or my family. The truth is we often deceive ourselves.
I love my husband there is no doubt there but he is human, there is no doubt there either. So am I. We know each other. After 32+ years of marriage we should. We still do those stupid little things that drive that can drive each other crazy if we let them. You know the things, like putting your dirty glass on the counter just above the dishwasher rather than in it or leaving a whole pile of stuff to go upstairs on the stairs…for a few days. One of my favorite irritants is when we make plans to do something at a specific time but his project just before the plans start takes longer than he thought, but there is no phone call adjusting the time. I just wait…can anyone say attitude? I am purposefully not bringing up much more serious examples of differences. I’ll let you identify those on your own, in the privacy of your own mind, however take a minute and think about this. What is it you are hanging on to that just doesn’t work for your spouse? Are you pushing for a different job, or house but he/she is content, maybe even happy where they are at?
If we are about keeping our marriage until death we need to let integrity guide us. “Rigid adherence” to this “code of behavior” – marriage for life means making choices based on that code. I’m married for life to Mark. Piles and clutter do not work for him on many, many levels. Why do I put my comfort and yes, sometimes laziness above his need? As I look at my personal space where I sit right now I see a few piles. Here, in my space where Mark doesn’t work it’s okay. On the kitchen counter, stairs or the desk we share it really shouldn’t be. I’m deceiving both of us if I say I love him and am married for life but I continue to put myself and my comfort above his on a regular basis.
Does my leaving piles of stuff around the house mean our marriage is falling apart? No. Could it be a warning light or symptom that I’m too busy? Yes. Could it be a warning light that I’m letting others expectations influence my decisions and that is causing me to be too busy? Yes. Could that mean that I”m not putting our marriage first when I’m making these decisions? Yes. What about you? Does this make you think of any “warning lights” in your life? Do you have focus or integrity in your marriage, keeping it the #1 priority or decision influencer in your life?
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