What Medical School has Taught Us About Our Marriage and Our Savior
Updated: Oct 6, 2018
For those of you following along on our medical school journey, it's the end of Kyle's second month and his first unit which means one thing: exam time. If we were to define "exam time" it would be this: (noun) resulting in TONS of extra study hours, less time helping around the house, and fewer moments spent together. Or in other words: The. Worst. But through these last few weeks of exam prep, I've actually learned an incredibly powerful lesson that's helped me come to understand not only our marriage better, but also my Savior!
As much as this period of intense, constant studying has been hard on me because I don't get to spend as much time with Kyle and I don't get as much help around the house, it's definitely been harder for him. He carries the brunt of the stress, the worry, the fatigue, and the burnout. And on top of that, Kyle is such a sweet guy that he also feels really guilty about not being able to help me out around the house as much. He beats himself up because he feels like he's letting me down. On our way home from an appointment earlier this week, Kyle turned to me and apologized for not helping out as much as he would like. He thanked me for being such a wonderful wife and taking care of him so well, and then said something that caught me completely off guard.
"I really don't deserve it".
I just sat there, a little stunned for a moment. Here he was, sacrificing EVERYTHING to become a doctor (time, energy, sleep, etc.) to provide well for our family... and he thought he was undeserving?! That he wasn't doing enough?! I'd had no idea he felt that way. My first impulse was to jump in and argue all of the things that he was doing well and try to prove that he deserved everything I was doing for him... and more! Even though he can't do the dishes every day or cook dinner when I don't feel well, he brings so so much to our relationship and to our home. He supports me, encourages me, teases me out of a bad mood. He takes out the trash when there's something totally gross that I just can't handle. He gives me a huge hug the second he walks through the door and asks me about my day. He looks at every single one of my photoshoots and encourages me to continue doing what I love. And so much more! I felt like there was no one more deserving of all of my efforts than him. But then I realized something.
It's not about "deserve".
It's not about earning what the other person is offering you. It's not about doing enough to pay them back from what they've done for you. It's not about weighing the scales to make sure that they even out at the end of the day. It's not a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" kind of thing. It's not about doing or being enough.
It's about loving the other person. Plain and simple.
I do all of the cooking (even though I despise it) and the majority of the housework (even though laundry is the BANE of my existence) because I love my husband and want him to have a safe, clean, happy place to come home to. I take the car in to get the oil changed and manage our finances because I love my husband and want to take things off of his already over-crowded to-do list. I plan fun date nights and short family getaways because I love my husband and want him to be able to take advantage of the time he has to recharge and relax instead of feeling guilty because he didn't have time to plan them himself.
I don't expect Kyle to pay me back for all of those things! I don't expect him to "earn his keep". Yes, I love when he cooks on the weekends if he has time. Yes, I love when he does the laundry. But that's not a requirement to earn my love. He has that no matter how many household chores he does or doesn't do.
It's not about deserving. It's not about earning. It's just about love.
That's how it is with our Savior, too. I constantly feel like I "don't deserve" all that Christ has done for me (cue Amazing Grace in the background). But we aren't expected to pay Him back for everything He's done for us - that would be totally impossible. We don't "earn" our way to Heaven. It's not about "doing enough" or proving that you "deserve it". It's about Him loving us so intimately and completely that He performed His atonement so we have a way to repent of our sins and return to live with Him one day. And because we love Him, we do the things He's asked of us - read out scriptures, serve His children, go to the temple, be baptized. Love is the basis for our relationship with Christ - His love for us and our love for Him.
Relationships based on exchange-type principles won't last. At least not meaningful ones that fulfill you, heart and soul. But relationships based on mutual love and service will. So next time you're look at what your spouse or what your Savior has done for you and you think, "I don't deserve that", remember: it's not about deserve. It's about love.
P.S. - Kyle told me to put this in here somewhere: Dear world, my husband is the greatest goober of all time.