On settling.

I hadn’t gotten a compliment on my diamond ring in a while. Maybe I don’t clean it enough, or maybe I don’t walk in that, “My left elbow is constantly bent so you’ll notice my ring,” position that the newly engaged often sport. Maybe it’s because I’m much less conscious of it than I used to be, so I don’t make other people as aware of it by constantly glancing at it or letting it catch my eye. Whatever it is, the compliment I got this week caught me off guard.

“What a sparkly ring! You must have been really happy to get it.”

I didn’t know what to say, exactly, except to agree. I was happy to get it. I’m still happy to have it. I don’t think about it all that often, except to put it on in the morning and take it off when I get home, but I’m glad it’s there.

Maybe that was what made me think of a long-ago conversation I had when I was engaged, in which my friend (who was also engaged) was talking about some of the problems she was having with her fiance, problems that I felt were very serious ones and had hurt her deeply, and she sighed and said, “But I think God has told me that this is as good as it’s going to get.” I am not exactly sure how I responded, but it was probably incoherent. I didn’t say what I wanted to say, which is that I don’t think God works like that. Sure, he does give us difficult situations, and we are often called to not-so-easy relationships because we need to help and we need to learn. But I have never seen any indication that God calls us to settle, that we should take what we can get and not hope for any better. Especially in a spouse: that relationship is supposed to mirror that of Christ and the church, and I would hate to think that any thought of “settling” would enter into the discussion. Whatever I said, it wasn’t that, and I have always regretted it. I should have made the time to discuss whatever it was she believed about God that made her say that, and whatever it was about marriage that made her think that she didn’t deserve any better than a guy who was hurting her in so many ways.

Christmas is a time to draw near to those you love, as well as a time to do that end-of-year evaluation. For those reasons, I’ve been thinking about how Mike and I are doing lately. This has been an interesting year, with the crazy flooding over the summer, some difficult relationship issues (not with each other), and the busy-ness of both our lives with work and school and church and friends. Things have been hard circumstantially, but being married five years seems to have smoothed more of our rough edges than I realized, because our problems lately haven’t been with each other.

I look at my sparkly ring, and I think about Mike and all the things we’ve gone through in the past seven years, and I am thankful that I have never for an instant considered being with him “settling.”

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  1. By Culver City Massage Therapy on 3/14/2017 at

    Culver City Massage Therapy

    On settling. – Through a Glass, Darkly