This is a reprint of a post I wrote last summer. I had started a blog about marriage, but did not continue with it because I could not keep up with posting.
Marriage can be a cause of growth when you let it. Your spouse can help you grow in holiness and as a person, if you allow him/her to do so.
My spouse is no different. From the time I first met Pete, he has helped me to grow tremendously and I love him for it. I have become a better person because he is in my life. Sometimes I have not enjoyed his "encouragement" (OK ,there have been times I have do right hated it), but it has helped me to grow more into the woman that God is calling me to be. Who ever said growth was painless???
Last night was no different. First, I have to admit, I LOVE tennis. Ever since I was a girl, I have loved playing tennis. I wanted to play tennis in high school, but a job prevented me from doing so. I would read tennis magazines, I was "up" on the latest tennis rackets and the newest string for tennis rackets. I loved to watch the US Open, Wimbledon, and the French Open (never really got into the Australian Open). But, I have not really played in years and my skills are severely lacking. My husband is really good at tennis and played for years. We have played just a few times since we have gotten married and it usually ends with us getting mad at each other for some reason, so we have not played in about 4 years (the fact that we have 3 young children has also added to that too!!).
Well, fast forward in time . . . . we now belong to a pool and tennis club. It offers free adult tennis lessons every Tuesday night. Pete started going a while ago, but although I kept on saying I wanted to go, I had given excuses each Tuesday as to why I could not go (and those excuses are readily available when you have three children and a messy house!!). The truth was I was scared. You would not think a tennis lesson would be a scary thing, but, for me it was.
You see, I have this horrible perfectionist streak in me. I try to avoid doing things unless I know that I am fairly good at them. I have never been really good at sports, so I will usually avoid even games for fun. The only sport I did in High School was Cross Country. I was not very good at it, and I think the only reason I stuck with it was because one of the guys on the team said that several people were shocked I was running cross country and did not think I would last the season (I was more of a geek in high school, and I think ,most people believed I had no "jock" in me) (Not only am I a perfectionist, but I also work hard to prove other people wrong when it comes to what I can and cannot do!!). I will try to get back to the topic . . . I DID NOT WANT TO GO TO TENNIS LESSONS!!!!
Last night was the last tennis lesson of the season that we could attend. Pete called me from work and continually said "Can't wait to see you at lessons tonight." He even left work early so that I could go. With each phone call, the anxiety increased. How would I get out of this? I do not want to go. I do not want to look like a fool on the courts. Pete got home 15 minutes before lessons started . . . I had nothing ready. He, very calmly continued to push, as I began to pout like a child and stomp around the house saying I did not want to go. I was tired. The house was a mess. I had not finished making dinner. Still pouting, I got dressed for lessons . . . how was I going to get out of this? Pete, still calmly persisting. I did not think that there would be any way to convince him I should not go, so I conceded. We went to the pool. Lessons were in full swing. Relieved, I thought I was off the hook. Pete saw the instructor and asked if I could join the lesson. Although she hesitated, she did let me join. And you know what, I had a great time. I had so much fun playing. But, mostly, I had conquered a fear. I was an example to our children (who were so cute in cheering me on during my lesson) that when you are afraid to do something, it is good to overcome that fear . . . you grow as a person when you do.
I was so happy the rest of the night. I was proud of myself. I was so grateful for my husband and his gentle, persistent ways. Pete truly makes me a better person. Thank you sweetie, I love you!!