Friday, May 07, 2010

Striving for Perfection: A Lesson in Futility Part III

Thanks for hanging in there with me.  As I wrap up this last post on perfection I would like to say a few things before jumping in. 

I am highlighting the difficult because there is a stigma.  A pink elephant, self imposed stigma on marriage.  Especially Christian marriages.  We have all been, at some point, afraid that someone is going to play the un-Christian card against us.  We smile in church and show up looking shampooed and put together so that the world sees our very, very Godly best.  They will not see that we argued on the way to church about something petty and insignificant.  They don't want to know that hubby slept on the couch last night because he may have indirectly inferred that we exercise.  For our health.  It's not important to mention that there have been nights when we slept on tear stained pillows, praying for morning and a fresh start.

Case in point.  Who can forget the Gosselins?  No really.  Who can forget them because they're everywhere and they won't go away.  Their show Jon & Kate Plus 8 was a huge hit.  Why did people watch?  Because this self professed Christian couple ripped on each other at every turn.  Didn't it make us feel soooo much better about our own marriages?   Didn't many of us say-from our very high horse- I. would. never!

I don't know how many times I read online the accusation that they couldn't possibly be Christians.  Uh-Uh.  No way, no how the Lord was in that house.  Judge, judge, judge.  A Christian woman would never berate her husband that way, her husband never sell out her insecurities and OCD tendencies on national television, especially in front of their precious children.


This isn't about Jon & Kate but it is about the ugliness that can hide and fester, oozing into our marriages like cancer.  If memory serves me correctly I have been demanding, demeaning, self serving and selfish within the confines of my marriage.  I have been angry, disgusted and antagonizing all towards the one person I promised to respect and cherish for the rest of my life.  And I am a Christian woman.

I have learned the hard way that life is not what I imagined it would be.  That has meant that it has been both difficult and immeasurably sweet.  Humbling and ethereal.  I have had more fun, cried more tears and laughed harder than I ever thought I would on this journey called life.

My problem with perfection was not with H but with myself.  H being perfect meant that I could ride on his coat tails and share the light that reflected from his golden halo.  I could bask in the ease of his perfectness and not have to do the hard work.

I know.  It sounds almost ridiculous but at the time I thought I had it pretty much right and pretty much altogether.  Recognizing and accepting everything about him meant changing some things about me, especially those little bitty expectations that kept bobbing about in my self serving ocean.   It meant really seeing him for the man God made him to be, not the man I thought I deserved-who should have been, in a word-perfect.

A long time ago God saw to it that I marry a man who would and never could be perfect.  Because if he was than I would not have turned to God in my moments of weakness.  I would not have learned to die to myself and be reborn under the blood of the only perfect Man.  We could never have grown together and eventually would have dissolved under the pressure-good intentions are nothing without God's direction.

God was in each and every moment and I'm sure there were times when He had great sadness for us.  But now I hope He smiles because we listened.  I listened.

Colossians 3:14 says
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Love is perfect when God is in it.  It is healing, it is renewing and it can take your breath away.  I see so clearly the gift that God gave me in my husband.  I am humbled that He said you are my choice for himHe is my choice for youEnjoy, experience and let Me be in it.

If I could do it again, if my vows were spoken today I would say this:

My love, when I was still a girl, it was the idea of you that captured my heart.
I dressed you up in shining gilded armor, perched you on top
of a magnificent white horse and said,  
take me away to happily ever after.
What I know now is that you are more than perfect.
You are better than happily ever after.
You are real and you are mine.
You have carried my heart across oceans and desserts.
Faithfully tucked away where I am only yours.
Our love is deeper than time and wider than space.
You are my safe place to fall.  My forever friend.
Thank you for loving me. 

To my husband, who has watched me grow from a young woman to a mother and wife, I love you.


Wendy said...

Now that was BEAUTIFUL. You had me in tears.

April said...

Thanks Wendy :)

Brazenlilly said...

That's beautiful, real, vulnerable stuff here April! As I'm analyzing what kind of blog I want to write, I find that I'm drawn to humble and honest writing just like yours. Keep it up!

April said...

Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement! They are very much taken to heart.

Miss Molly said...

I love your vows for your husband. very moving.

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