Don’t Miss the Joy of Dirty Socks

Sharon JaynesLovestruck, Marriage 27 Comments

Have you ever had something happen in your life that was a wake-up call. I mean it really got you thinking about what in the world you are doing in life? I still remember the day I God stopped me in my tracks and reminded me to not take one more day for granted.

I could hear the wailing from the driveway. It was 5:10 a.m. and nature soundly slept. All was quiet, except for the animal-like cries making their way out the back door and into the still dark dawn. My husband and his sister were giving their mom the news that her husband of sixty years had passed away. After three months in a rehab facility recovering from a fall, Bruce Jaynes quietly slipped away and took Jesus’ hand.

Jesus or no Jesus, Mary Ellen was devastated that her husband had left her.
“How could he leave me?” she cried through salty tears. “He said he wouldn’t leave me.”

My in-laws’ relationship reflected the Shulammite’s words in the Song of Solomon: “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3).  They had been a matched set. Like a candlestick made to be part of a pair whose mate had gone missing, her light was exponentially dimmer without her Bruce.

In the following months, Mary Ellen walked with the limp of a woman missing half of herself. Her forced smile looked pained. It was difficult to watch as two intertwined souls became a single strand. Four grown children and their spouses, plus a slew of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, took extra care to let her know that she was loved and needed, but it was never enough.

Six months after Bruce took his last breath, Mary Ellen joined him. After a fun-filled day at a great-grandchild’s birthday party, she had a heart attack and left us in a matter of minutes.

After my father-in-law had died, I think of how my mother-in-law would have loved to pick his dirty socks off the bedroom floor one more time. How she would have given anything to hear him blowing his nose too loud in front of company. How she would have happily ironed his shirts yet again. How she would have loved to hear his snoring rather than the silence of the night. How she would much rather cook a meal for two than heat up a bowl of soup for one.

What would she say to those teetering on the brink of divorce, who huff in frustration, who turn their backs to their husband’s reaching hand in the night? I think she would hold their gaze with a knowing look. Grasp their hands with an urgent plea. I think she would tell them that marriage is worth fighting for.

It’s worth the hurt and the healing.

The ups and the downs.

The irritations and the celebrations.

I think she’d tell them that the big picture of marriage is created with the brush strokes of tiny moments—that both the dark and the vibrant hues are necessary for depth and beauty to emerge.

That the marriage of two imperfect people is the perfect recipe for God’s glory to manifest itself to a longing world.

That the legacy of a lifetime is too precious to toss away. Work at it. Give it all you’ve got. Start over as many times as you have to, as long as it’s with the same man. The best marriage you will ever have is the one you have right now.

She would remind us that marriage isn’t all about you and me. It’s about glorifying God. It’s about sacrifice. It is about caring for the needs of someone else above your own. It is about believing in the impossible when your hope is all but gone. It’s about asking God to give you wisdom and then having the courage to change when he reveals the problem is you. It’s about a covenant with the God who intertwines two souls with the thread of His presence.

I think she would say to forgive quickly and completely. Don’t waste one day on bitterness or resentment. Because time is precious and fleeting, and when it’s gone, it’s gone. All you have is today.

Lord, thank You for today. Help me not to waste it, regret it, or take it for granted. Help me to see today as the gift that it is. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What would you do today if you knew it was your last?

Has your marriage slipped into the monotony of the mundane? Are you ready to get the spark back?

The Song of Solomon is a confusing book for many. But when you break the code and decipher the romantic language, it all makes sense. In my book, Lovestruck: Discovering God’s Design for Romance, Marriage, and Sexual Intimacy from the Song of Solomon, you’ll see God’s design for one of His greatest gifts. Parts of it will have you saying, “Is that really in the Bible?” Yep, God made sure of it. It also has a companion Bible study for those who want to go deeper and for groups.

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Comments 27

  1. Thanks Sharon, as a couple married 53 years i can fully appreciate the “little things” we do for each other. Even making the lunch salad. when my husband adds the tomato i always say thanks. he is appreciative of those moments too.

  2. Beautiful! After almost 28 years of Marriage, 23 of them REALLY great and the last 5 fraught with challenges that nearly ripped us apart as individuals & as a couple, this devotion spoke straight to my heart & articulates well where I think we are now.
    It appears the sun is on the horizon and this five years of darkness may soon finally be coming to an end.
    I KNOW we still LOVE EACH OTHER, we’ve just been under such tremendous pressure “in survival mode” for so long, our patience, forgiveness, and grace feel as if they were almost used up.
    Thank you for sharing this devotion with us to encourage us & remind us to always keep perspective

    1. I can really relate to all you are saying here.
      We’ve been married 32 years and yes in the last two particularly, since being empty- nesters, we have been estranged at times, and shut-off emotionally.
      But God!!
      He is faithful and He is what keeps us united in purpose.
      This devotional is absolutely pivotal in my mindset now.
      We can start over now, and yes as many times as it takes.

  3. I lost my husband 6 months ago to day after 47 years . We had many ups and downs but throw the Lord we never gave up . Today is a bad day for me This was a beautiful story one I’m feeling now. Treasure what you have for someday you’ll wish those soaks were on the floor.

    1. My condolences Lavina, I pray that the Lord will comfort you ..and that you will feel His everlasting arms wrapped around you.

    2. I agree that marriage is worth the fight. It is meant to last a lifetime.
      But should I constantly forgive when he continuously betray me? He robs the character of my personality with his lies and betrayals.
      He destroyed my sense of identity.
      Maybe it abuse what he does. Or maybe it is me.
      But I stopped loving him years ago when emotionally, mentally and spiritually he abandoned me.
      I’ve tried forgiving. I’ve tried being patience. I’ve tried holding onto hope for him. But he continues to lie and betray me.
      I am ready to cut ties. To move on. To find myself again, in God and of this world.
      Marriages are worth fighting. Love is a verb, not just a word. Long as trust and respect are in your marriage, it is worth it.
      Without God and those two, nothing worth it

      1. I hear you; loud and clear. Sounds like a contract’s been broken by one party…
        I like, “love is a verb, not a word.”
        @sharon, it would be beautiful to speak to the men too.
        More than half the time, they are the problem; yet women are the ones preached at to hang in there till they break and die.
        Jesus means for us to live abundant lives; that’s why He gave His life.

  4. Thank you, Sharon. My husband and I are coming upon our 33rd anniversary. The years have been both hard and harder. But our God has kept us together and fought for us.

    We’re retired now, and we’ve raised four beautiful children. These times we’re experiencing now are the best yet, and we would have missed them if we had parted. I am so thankful we stayed committed to our God and to each other. The best is here now!!!

  5. Sharon, I love your devotionals but I have to tell you the quote above really hurt me. You say, “ The best marriage you will ever have is the one you have right now.”

    I’m currently trying to get out of my marriage where there was alcoholism, abuse and infidelity. The abuse even trickled down to my children. I don’t think the best marriage I will have is the one I am currently in right now. That is not God’s best for me or my family.

    I hope someone today who reads this and is in a horrific situation will know that that is not God‘s plan for their life.

    1. Summer, that is a really good point about that quote. I totally get it, I left my first husband due to abuse. I pray that you find a way to get out of yours, that it all works out for you. God is working and looking out for you and your kids. Wish you well sister ❤️

    2. Summer, I feel your pain. After a marriage of 22 years I discovered a number of affairs. I fought long and hard for a year for our marriage but he didn’t. It was hard to go through a divorce when I have always believed marriage was for ever.

      Like you, I know God did not want that life for me, or to model to my 3 daughters that this was how a wife was to be treated.

      Now my life is peaceful and my daughters stable. We are moving on and God has been with us all throughout this awful time.

    3. I totally “get” what the devotional is about… but I agree with you and understand exactly what you’re saying. I pray God will bring you through this season with His healing love.

    4. Summer, I didn’t want to reply but my heart goes out to you. I thank God for all of those who can hang in there during the tough times. I too was in a marriage full of infidelity. My husband had affair after affair. I was a good wife, a God fearing wife, I honored my marriage covenant. But when my spouse had a baby with another woman and then had an affair with a friend of mine, I knew that God did not want me to live that way! I am a much happier person now. God continues to bless me.
      All of you married folks, continue to love each other. Work through those small things. Read the word. But as for me, I couldn’t endure the adultery. God still loves me.

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  6. Thank you for sharing this story and biblical insights. My first husband of 41 years suffered from clinical depression. My children wondered how I could ‘put up’ with this. He died of a massive heart attack even though he carried mail and walked 10 miles a day. He is home with the Lord. My second husband has been unable to walk for a year and a half but that doesn’t change the way I feel about him. The message you gave comes down to whether we are thinking about ourselves or how can we glorify God. Thank you again and God bless your ministry.

  7. This is so timely. Truly. A re-struggle has resurfaced, and I was able to surrender to the Spirit yesterday. This is a reminder to hold on to the hope for today. Thank you!

  8. I needed this today. I am married to a quiet and hard working man. Some times the quiet is nice in this loud and busy world yet other times it is deafeningly quiet and I crave to hear from him. I am in fact, a little sulled up about that fact today. I left this morning in a huff, rejecting his kiss as I walked out the door. It was silly I know. Something I regretted.
    We are opposites, I am an extrovert and he an introvert. His quiet can leave me empty and wanting a filling of his words of encouragement and endearment, Today is one of those days.

  9. I’m 60 and never been married. Not even proposed to. My parents were married 50 years and met 6 years prior. My grandparents were married 49 years. Last year was the 1st time I’d ever gotten flowers from a man on valentines day. After dating intentionally for 12 months in a pandemic he tells me he’s not ready for marriage so I broke up with him with a broken heart. More t like a kick in the stomach. I was depressed for weeks and I still think and dream about him. I’ve been praying for a husband since I was 30. It feels like God is ignoring me. If I met my husband today I would have to live to be 110 to have 50 years like my parents and grandparents. But whatever time I have is fine. I’m not understanding why it’s taking so long for me.

  10. My sweet soft spoken husband shocked our family by walking out after 28 years of marriage. I was angry and bitter. A few months into the struggle the Holy Spirit came upon me. The Lord spoke to me in ways I had no idea He would. At that moment I knew in my spirit the enemy wanted my family! I stood up and said “no way!” I began devouring scriptures. Asking the Holy Spirit for wisdom. I realized my quiet husband never shared his hurts and pains. Not like I did with my big mouth. I learned God hates divorce period. Jesus taught us to forgive not fix. Everyday for five years I have been praying for God to work in my husbands heart. I made a promise to God I will keep. I am standing for the covenant of my marriage. No matter how things look to the outside world, including friends and family who mean well but tell me to move on, faith is not about what you see. It’s about what you trust, believe and have faith in. God is on my side. I am standing in my covenant and praying for my helpmates soul. It’s not easy but since my surrender I have seen miracles. My walk is different. I talk different. Thank you Father that even after 50 years you never gave up on me!

  11. Always inspiring. Always right on time. Thank you Sharon!!
    We wrestle not against flesh and blood….
    I am currently seeing the tide turn in my 40 year marriage. I pray I will continue to honor and respect my husbands journey back to God, his ideas and opinions and his presence. I am recovering from an alcoholic upbringing and fear-based control and I know he is waiting to see if there is lasting change. Many children and grandchildren. My prayer is that we can stand in the assembly when God restores the years the locusts have eaten and give Him all the praise and glory. Set a guard over the door of my lips Lord! Holy Spirit, continue to convince us that Gods plan is the best ever and give us the desire to walk in obedience to the Word.

  12. I lost my husband of 52 yrs last September. I miss him every day. I have been blest to have had such a good marriage. We had three children and 4 grandchildren. We were blest . Figuring life out without him is very hard . Cherish your soul mate . Marriage is worth fighting for . God has me in His care right now My spouse is with Him in Glory . That gets me through .

  13. Thank you for this today,I let my stubbornness get in the way last night and refused to tell hubby good night. Thankful I had this morning to realize how blessed I am to have him in my life despite the things that can rub me the wrong way. God truly blessed us daily and I am grateful for my husband of nearly 33 years!

  14. Thank you for this devotional. We are coming up on 34 years of marriage and I have to admit it has not been easy. I pray about our relationship often. We both have many faults and need to work harder. This devotional made me think about losing him. Please pra that we would have the marriage that God wants us to have.

  15. I’m only on 6 years of Marriage, but I want it to last until my dying day. I love my Wife with all my heart. I know this book will help me.

  16. Thank you for this inspiring article. Just one question, what if you are the only one fighting for the marriage?

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