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My husband has come through for better or worse, in sickness and in health. Commitment is another wonderful grace of our marriage and many of yours. I’ve come to believe it is in the marriage relationship that commitment can reach its fullness.

When I was ten months pregnant, Tony would wake up at three in the morning and help me roll over. When I dropped the curling iron on my nose years ago, he promised the ointment he dabbed on my poor burn would help me look fine in no time. When I ran outside of the bookstore at the college where I taught for 28 years and planted my face in the street, Tony spent days applying Neosporin and baggies of ice to my entire mangled face.

And I’m there for Tony (this section, sad to say, is shorter), making a doctor’s appointment to check out those suspicious spots on his face, putting it on MY calendar, so that it is not forgotten.



As I was saying last week, one of the tender graces of our marriage is companionship, and nothing illustrates that better than the rooms we inhabit: the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom, and the bedroom—the married couple’s geography I’ve chosen to explore in these blogs. I discussed the living room last week and began on the kitchen, leaving off with Tony’s preparing the corn on the cob and my buttering and burning the rolls (and I’d like to say there’s quite a bit of the roll left when you peel off the black stuff).


Once I became grateful for baby aspirin and nightly snuggles (see the two previous blogs), I began to realize my marriage was full of tender graces, and I began to dwell on them.

You may have some of these things in common with Tony and me, but it’s as likely, you have your own set of graces, but all of them are to be cherished.

I’m especially thankful for four specific graces, which I’ll explore in the next four blogs.

This week I want to chat about the grace of companionship. When our daughters were girls and would come home from school, I’d call from somewhere in the house, “Girls, come share your life with me.” It was a silly, fun way to ask them about their day.

My grown daughters are still delightful companions, but I have found that the dearest companion I have is the one who has shared my life for 43 years, my husband.


My husband’s inability to say nice things was not his only deficiency. I personally do not care for an excessive display of public affection. But the simple touch, that I do enjoy.

“So, Tony,” I believe I’ve said, “how about slipping an arm around my shoulder while the minister goes into his third and final point? How about a gentle nudge to show me Linda is waving at me across the auditorium? How about, best of all, just placing your hand in the small of my back after the service is over to usher me out of the building and to the parking lot instead of standing in the doorway calling, “Come on, Slick!”


Two young women were recently on the Today Show talking about their book, I’d Trade My Husband for a Housekeeper. I doubt they were writing from a uniquely Christian perspective, but I liked what they had to say about things related to dissatisfaction: No one’s perfect and too often we judge our marriages by an unattainable ideal that doesn’t actually exist.

Sometimes when I talk about Tony, people get the idea that he is perfect or that I think he is, despite my assertion that no one is. Well, he is not the exception. But I no longer care about what he isn’t or what we don’t have. I’m just immensely grateful for what he is and what we do have.