Have you ever seen Fixer Upper? Brittany and I are so inspired by Chip and Joanna Gaines. Unfortunately, I’m not naturally gifted when it comes to home repairs and construction projects, so when Brittany told me she wanted a “shiplap-ish” accent wall in the room we’re planning for a nursery, the thought of doing any sort of construction intimidated me.
Thankfully, my good friend Matt offered to help so I didn’t waste any time purchasing around 50 strips of wood from Home Depot. Initially, my plan was to hire someone to stain it, but after those plans fell through I decided to tackle the project myself.
I’ll be honest…I was not excited about the amount of work that would be required, but with each brush stroke, I started thinking about the little miracle that would soon be sleeping, playing, and growing up beside the new wall and my attitude quickly changed.
As I started to see my progress, I realized how rewarding the wall project was going to be once it was complete.
Recently I watched an interview with Chip and Joanna Gaines and realized how similar Brittany and I are to them (despite my complete lack of home improvement skills, of course). The couple absolutely adores one another, but they are sooooo different at the same time. Brittany and I can definitely relate.
It’s often said that “opposites attract” but sometimes, opposites also collide and explode into a million jagged little pieces. In our first year of marriage, when conflict would arise neither one of us would back down from the fight. It wasn’t pretty, and we quickly realized that when it came to communication in the midst of conflict, we were broken and in need of repair. We decided to seek the help of a Christian counselor to help us sort through areas of our lives that needed work, and it turned out to be one of the best things we’ve ever done for our marriage.
As we started to see our progress, we realized how rewarding our marriage could be if we continued to work on it.
We started challenging each other to grow closer to God. We prayed together more consistently. We sought out ways we could serve others together. We opened up to friends about our weaknesses in marriage and life. And although we had moments where one (or both) of us were still selfish and stubborn, we exercised more patience with one another which led to even more positive changes in our marriage.
Our relationship today is so much stronger and more deeply rooted, but we also realized that no matter how hard we try, we will never reach a point where our marriage is free of conflict. We will never be able to fully understand what the other is thinking or feeling, and we will never meet each other’s needs and expectations completely.
Brittany and I will never have a perfect marriage.
But that’s okay because God didn’t design marriage to make us perfect.
Francis Chan wrote, “Marriage is one of the most humbling, sanctifying journeys you will ever be a part of. It forces us to wrestle with our selfishness and pride. But it also gives us a platform to display love and commitment.”
In a world where sin exists, conflict is a natural part of relationships…including marriage. God gave Adam and Eve a choice to follow His path or do their own thing, and after they made the wrong choice the dynamic of their relationship completely changed.
Brittany and I are no different than the first newlyweds. We’ve had plenty of moments in marriage where we’ve been hurt or disappointed by each other, and I’m convinced one of the main reasons we fall short is because we lose focus of why He created it in the first place.
I love what John Piper says about the purpose of marriage:
The ultimate thing we can say about marriage is that it exists for God’s glory. That is, it exists to display God. Now we see how: Marriage is patterned after Christ’s covenant relationship to His redeemed people, the church. And therefore, the highest meaning and the most ultimate purpose of marriage is to put the covenant relationship of Christ and His church on display. That is why marriage exists. If you are married, that is why you are married. If you hope to be, that should be your dream.
Simply put, our marriage exists to reflect God and point others to Him. There is no greater or more rewarding purpose in this life than to lead people to Jesus.
In my last blog post, I talked briefly about the process of being perfected (the Bible refers to this as “sanctification”), and what I’m learning with time is that no matter how hard I try, there will always be areas in my life that are under construction. Unlike a home renovation project, our work of self-improvement will never truly be “done” and the same truth applies to our relationships.
I’m happy to report that with Matt’s help, we finished the wall in record time and it turned out exactly as Brittany and I had hoped. It felt so great to take a step back when the project was complete and see the finished work, and I believe that’s exactly how we will feel when we reach heaven someday.
Until then, just remember that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage because there are no perfect people. We have all sinned and fallen short, but once we realize we are in need of repair we can begin the process of drawing closer to God to work on us in the areas that need it the most. It might seem a bit intimidating at first, but once you and your spouse invite Him in to work on your marriage it will be one of the best things you will ever do.
Nursery Wall Timelapse
Here’s the empty room that will eventually be the nursery for Baby Worthen.
The first step was to apply Minwax White Wash stain to each wood board.
Matt brought over the tools to get the job done right. I am so grateful for his help and friendship!
We made sure to cut out a hole for the outlet.
Brittany used Matt’s nail gun to attach the stained wood planks to the studs.
We literally had the exact amount of wood remaining to fill in the bottom of the wall.
The finished product. We couldn’t be happier!
Stay tuned for Brittany’s blog post next week to see the wall in much better light!