Merging Business and Marriage - Working With Your Spouse
“Love of music, of sunsets and sea; a liking for the same kind of people; political opinions that are not radically divergent; a similar stance as we look at the stars and think of the marvelous strangeness of the universe – these are what build a marriage. And it is never to be taken for granted.” – Madeleine L’Engle, Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage
This is how the moment felt, when I first met Sam, it felt as if we looked at the stars with a similar stance. And at most times, even three years along, this feeling persists. It’s the most beautiful characteristic of marriage, having someone alongside you that shares a kindred understanding for the little, meaningful pieces, those that matter most; resembling a warm blanket on a chilly evening.
The marriage ceremony concludes, and the process of molding two into one initiates. Suddenly, that “blanket” seems to thin out, and somehow grows smaller, humbling and careening us to seek the Lord. Marriage ultimately draws us closer to Christ, and molds us to be more Christ-like. Sam and I have been growing our business, Hurd & Honey, since November, 2011 (a month following our wedding), and quietly, our business has been growing us.
Hurd & Honey has been a faith journey more than anything else. It began with the conviction that true worship takes place when we are fearlessly pursuing our gifts. As spouses, we could better serve each other if we were in a more authentic position of worship. But this step was the most challenging. It left Sam feeling vulnerable, not knowing what he was going to do, and not necessarily knowing what he was called to do. But he withstood, left his job, listened, and began to teach himself, and patiently converted our garage into a woodshop.
During that first year we began to lean heavily on the verse, “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
In small moments that “blanket” came back, especially in the face of opposition, both subtle and audacious. We knew we were on a faith walk, I left my teaching job just two years after Sam left his job, and upon leaving, we were earning enough to pay half of our monthly bills. Quickly it was revealed that we would need much faith, and would need to daily rely upon the scriptures that promised our security. We also knew we needed to express this faith in one another. In moments of individual doubt, the other had to be there to speak truth, and this is still a challenge today.
Since Hurd & Honey has been our sole income there have been new challenges. Working from home, in a shared space, with your spouse, has beautiful benefits, and many trials. We are learning to set boundaries, to take time for ourselves, to take time for one another. Sam and I are still working on how to offer respect; respecting the ideas, perspectives, and convictions that surface when you are operating a business together is difficult. And maintaining faith during the low seasons, during the obstacles that usually arrive in groups of three or four; is another way in which the Spirit draws us closer.
We both agree that the biggest reward in all of this is watching how the Lord works. How He connects us with people all over the world, and in tiny ways allows a handmade piece to be a blessing to a family. The metaphor is a constant, each handmade Hurd & Honey creation is kin to our humanity, full of unique characteristics, and purposed for a specific home and family.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace of God’s grace in various forms.” – 1 Peter 4:10
Originally Published November 25th, 2014 for The Well Studio
This June marks four years that we've been operating Hurd & Honey from our home. People ask us all the time, "how do you spend so much time together," and they comment, "I could never work with my spouse, especially from home." If you're in the midst of transitioning to working together, or you'd like to, we want to encourage you to give it a try. There is enough grace for your spouse and you. <3