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Taking Out the Trash (by Marsha)

January 22, 2010

When I was pregnant with both my boys, my already acute since of smell was magnified by 1000.  I could pick up the scent of something not quite right as soon as I walked in our house or woke up in the morning.  Sometimes it would take me up to an hour to narrow down the smell to the right room and then to the exact source. 

I remember one time it was a cleaning rag under the sink, and another time it was something from the freezer that Jeff insisted had absolutely no odor at all.  No matter what it was, I was on a mission to find it and get it out of the house.  When I finally got my fingers on the offending item, I had to smell it to make sure that was indeed what was causing my stomach to turn.  It wasn’t pretty and more than once I threw up after taking that confirmation whiff.  But it was always worth it, because I finally found the culprit and quickly removed it from the house.  (Actually, I made Jeff take it out.)

 I’ve said many times that marriage counseling has been for me a lot like sorting through a huge, disgusting trash can.  At first, Jeff and I were so busy with life that we couldn’t even tell something was wrong with our marriage.  Then, there were some red flags, followed by a subtle stench.  As we followed the scent looking for its source, we began to understand that our marriage was much sicker than we had realized.  Under all that busyness, there was junk and rot eating away at the commitment we had made to God and to each other.  The further down we got, the worse it looked.

 We are so thankful for our Christian counselors, who got in the dumpster with us, to help us track down the root causes of our problems.  It wasn’t pretty uncovering all the trash that we had cleverly been hiding from each other (and ourselves) and at times it was slow and grueling work.  Not only that, but finding the source was just half the battle (although a really important half).  This past year we have been working on replacing the unhealthy patterns in our lives and in our marriage with God’s truth and God’s pattern for marriage.  I have to say, the transformation has been pretty amazing.  You’ve heard of Extreme Home Makeover….I think the Lord desires for us to experience Extreme Marriage Makeovers.  But you have to be willing to knock down walls and get dirty first.

 Along the way, I’ve read some pretty incredible books on the subject of marriage.  If you think you have some trash to sort, check out these gems:

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