The Process of Marrification

“I’d rather you not touch my shower towel, okay?”

I quizzically glanced at my new husband, Ted. My freshly washed hands frozen in mid-air, just inches from his towel.

Was he being serious? After all, he did have dry humor down to an art. This wouldn’t be the first time he’d fooled me into believing he was earnest about something I found strange.

I waited for the mischievous sparkle in his eyes. Nothing. Nope, not even a mild twinkle.

“Um … okay.” I replied, quickly drying my hands on my pj pants.

I wasn’t sure what the big deal was. It was just a towel, right? And it wasn’t like I was some random person in his bathroom. I was his wife. His wife with clean hands, I might add. If I had caught him drying his hands on my towel back in those days when we had “his” and “her”bathrooms, I wouldn’t have cared. Plus, if my memory served me correctly, wasn’t this the man I’d found using my toothbrush on a recent trip? A toothbrush was way more intimate than a woven piece of fabric, if you asked me.

Yet instead of disrespecting and ridiculing what seemed to me no big deal, I decided to honor Ted’s request. So I bit my tongue, withheld the sarcastic comments that threatened to flow, and for years did not even brush my fingers across his towel … that is except on those days each week he abandoned it to the laundry basket for one of its cleaner siblings.

I won’t say it was exactly easy, though.

Every time I walked into his favored bathroom, there it was – his towel. His precious. Tempting me to dry my hands on it: “Ted’ll never know,” it whispered. When I resisted, it taunted me with its exclusiveness: “Your fingers aren’t worthy enough to even brush against me.”

Bathroom trips left me feeling like I was trapped in the Twilight Zone … or a very weird episode of Sesame Street. You know, one where inanimate objects suddenly break into Broadway tunes.

I look back at our years of Ted’s off-limit towel and I’m reminded of an important truth: Marrification – or growing into the united state of marriage – takes time. In many ways it’s like the spiritual process of sanctification. That process Webster’s defines as “the state of growing in divine grace as a result of Christian commitment.”

[Read the rest of the article at Start Marriage Right.]

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Ashleigh Slater is the author of the books, Team Us: The Unifying Power of Grace, Commitment, and Cooperation in Marriage and Braving Sorrow Together: The Transformative Power of Faith and Community When Life is Hard. She loves to combine the power of a good story with practical application to encourage and inspire readers.