Marriage Test: DIY Projects

Instead of lounging on a sunny beach this summer, our marital togetherness was spent re-staining our home. Sharing a paint bucket and scaffolding gave us many hours to contemplate if we felt bonded or in bondage.

Every log on our cabin was tediously sanded down to bare wood, and so were our nerves. Behind my safety-goggled eyes, I observed that over the years, my husband had become like me. My perfectionist tendencies were on full display—in him. How did this happen? I was now the sloppy one and my lack of painting skills revealed it. My husband seemed to care more about the correct form of back brushing than me….

Was saving thousands of dollars on labor worth the exasperation we felt for one another? 

Yes. And here’s why:

Marriage is work. Just like the work of staining our home. Hours of sanding exposed the beauty of the natural wood again. A good marriage requires occasional sanding too. We needed to get beneath the layers of his expectations and my selfishness, but as we did, our amazing bond of love was revealed again.

Marriage needs protection. Once the bare logs were exposed, a layer of bug guard was applied, making them resilient to pests. When was the last time I thought about what I was doing to protect my marriage?  During the project, it was easier to mutter under my paint mask rather than thank my husband for his hard work. Better thoughts lead to better words—and protection of loved one’s hearts.

The new stain soaked deep into the wood and was guaranteed to withstand winter storms. Marriage comes with no “storm resistant” guarantee. As we worked on this latest DIY project, we recalled all the years inside our home—and how we had shared every peak and valley.  We’d become more storm-worthy.




We love how our home looks now. The hours were worth it. I also learned a couple important things: good back brushing prevents ugly streaks, and I’m blessed that my hubby loves me through all of life’s projects and chooses to work side by side with me—even when I sometimes mutter under my paint mask.

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