My marriage is a choice.
It isn’t just something I committed to once and am bound to by some unseen force.
It takes work. It takes intention. It takes choices.
Small choices and big choices.
Every single day choices.
In college, when Josh and I were dating I found a song called “Perfect For Me” by Ron Pope. The lyrics go like this:
I’d just like to say
I thank God that you’re here with me
And I know you too well to say you’re perfect
But you’ll see oh my sweet love,
You’re perfect for me
Sappy Alert: My husband is perfect for me. (Seriously, I’m blessed and so in love!)
Honesty Alert: He is far from perfect.
But here is the good news: I don’t want a perfect husband.
And I wouldn’t want a perfect marriage even it was possible (by the way it’s not).
There is only one spot for perfection in my life and that space was filled long ago when Perfection took my place on a cross.
If my marriage met every standard of perfection I could possibly have, I honestly believe I would slowly lose my desire for Jesus – the lover of my soul.
My imperfect, flawed relationship with my husband is something that increases my dependence on and desire for my perfect, flawless Heavenly father.
When we desire perfection we not only kid ourselves but we begin to squeeze out the One who ordained our relationship, marriage or otherwise, in the first place.
Here are the three reasons why I make a choice every day to be part of an imperfect marriage:
1. IT ISN’T ABOUT ME.
It’s not about me. Or my husband.
It isn’t about you or your spouse.
When we come together as two people, making the decision to be one, our first goal should be to have a HE mindset.
“As an individual in my marriage, I want to set my eyes on the Father and worship Him. HE gets the glory.”
Then we can have a WE mindset.
“I want to see my spouse growing in their walk with you. WE commit to praying and encouraging each other. WE will work to be like Jesus together.”
But, problems arise when we adopt the ME mindset in marriage.
“Why isn’t my husband meeting MY needs? Why isn’t my wife meeting MY needs? What can my spouse do for ME? Why can’t they be better or different for ME?
If marriage becomes nothing more than a way to fulfill needs and have support, then we are missing the purpose of marriage all together.
Don’t misunderstand me.
Do I seek to be a supportive, involved and loving wife? Absolutely. Do I want to meet the needs that my husband has? Of course. But that isn’t my only job.
As a wife, I am content with knowing that my husbands needs are first and foremost met in the arms of the Father.
I am not a crutch for him.
I am not a replacement for His relationship with God.
Before I am anything, I am to be an extension of His arms, a reverberation of His voice, and a reminder of His love for my husband.
Marriage isn’t about me.
It will always be about Him and what He wants to do in us – together.
2. IT ISN’T ABOUT OUR MARRIAGE.
Marriage is more than a romance, a joining, a covenant.
It’s a mission.
I am perfectly content being in this messed up imperfect marriage because I have known from the beginning that it isn’t about our “marriage” or our “promise”. It’s about our mission.
I don’t claim to have it all figured out but one thing I know is that God didn’t allow us to enter into this marriage relationship simply to throw in the towel and get complacent. God made this happen to make us better and make our mission stronger. When I said “I do” I was saying yes to my husband but I was also saying yes to helping my husband fulfill whatever it is that God has created him to do and be. When Josh said “I do” he was also saying yes to our mission as one.
When marriage becomes only about marriage we are selling ourselves short. Marriage is never meant to be a replacement for God’s commands or a period on the calling of God on our lives. Rather, marriage is meant to be a megaphone that amplifies, magnifies and empowers everything that God has made you to do and be.
I’m not just married.
I’m on a mission with someone who I just happen to be in love with.
This is a sure way to keep Jesus at the center of your marriage (or any relationship for that matter). Show me a friendship on the rocks, a couple on the verge of breakup or a struggling marriage and I can show you at least a few people who have strayed from their mission as children of God.
By constantly striving and seeking to know God deeper we are engaging in the mission of marriage.
3. IT ISN’T ABOUT PERFECTION.
I would choose a faithful husband over a perfect husband every time.
I don’t want perfection.
I want faithfulness.
To God first. To me. And to others.
I choose to be a part of this flawed relationship every single day, because faithfulness is what wins my heart, not perfection.
I don’t fall in love with Josh more every day because he does everything I want exactly the way I want and never makes any mistakes.
I fall in love with him because he sees me for who I really am – at my weakest, my whiniest, and my most worthless times – and He never runs away.
Even in the moments when it would be so easy to look at me or look at something I’ve done and say, “I can do better”…he stays.
He prays me through the weakness.
He talks me through my whining and my worrying.
And he reminds me who God says I am when I feel so worthless.
I love him and choose this chaotic and imperfect life with him because I know that as long as we keep our eyes on God, stay focused on what He has called us to do, and work hard to be faithful, first to Him, and then to each other, there is no imperfection that can get in our way.
Photo Credit | Sarah Gerbers @ Selah Photography