THE FACEBOOK® FAÇADE
What's your idea of perfection?
A perfect sunset?
A perfect diamond?
A perfectly grilled ribeye?
The idea of perfection is that it is without fault. It is flawless. It satisfies all requirements.
The reality is, however, THERE IS NO PERFECT. Perfection does not exist. There is not one thing without fault or flaw that satisfies all requirements.
Unfortunately, many people enter marriage with the idea of a perfect relationship. One that is always happy, always full of fun, and always loving. One with no arguments, disappointments, or hurts. And even though deep down we know this is not realistic, we cling to the idea that it might be possible.
In this age of social media, where we all have a bird's eye view into everyone's life, the possibility of a perfect marriage seems attainable and necessary because, why not? Your friend's marriage is ideal, and so is everyone else's marriage on Facebook.
The truth, however, is that no one's marriage is perfect. What is seen on Instagram or Facebook are “perfect” pictures we use to convince ourselves that we, too, should be THAT happy otherwise, we are losers in this thing called life.
But what is on display is NOT everyday reality. Beneath the perfect picture is a story. Every person's own private story. And the story is not perfect. AND THAT'S OK.
If only we grew up expecting marriage to be a game of egg toss instead of hoping for a pinata full of endless candy. Maybe then, we would be a little more prepared for lots of dropped catches and an occasional egg in the face. And we would realize that even though participating in the egg game can be messy sometimes, it is so much fun! And a pinata is never full of endless candy anyways.
Is it possible that letting go of your expectation of a perfect marriage can actually help you achieve a happier marriage?
WHAT IS INSTEAD OF DREAMING OF PERFECTION, YOU ARE STRIVING FOR HEALTHY IMPERFECTION?
We are human. And although we are created in God's image, we reside in a fallen world, which means we are NOT flawless. We are NOT without sin. NONE of us are perfect. Therefore, it is impossible to have a perfect relationship between two imperfect people. To hope for perfection is futile and harmful to your marriage.
ALL marriages have conflict, hurt feelings, broken promises, financial setbacks, failures, discontentment, apathy, and even moments of hopelessness. Not one marriage is ALL happy and ALL loving, ALL of the time. The make it or break it for these relationships is how these things are managed, resolved, and moved past.
A marriage is a series of ups and downs, twists and turns, highs and lows. It is a journey down a long and sometimes dark and rocky road. It is not a destination. The question is, do these bumps in the road become opportunities for learning and strengthening your marriage to withstand the tests of time and trials? Or do they become roadblocks and detours that cause destruction and disconnection and ultimately divide your marriage?
You choose to look at your marriage as a whole, instead of focusing on individual moments in time? WHAT IF you choose to view your struggles as part of a bigger picture?
These things you focus on are just one piece of the entire picture puzzle of your marriage? Some pieces are bright and stand out, and are easier to place. These pieces are fun to find and keep you looking for more!
Some pieces are all one color. They are tedious and challenging to fit in and at times cause great aggravation and even tempt you to give up trying. But then, you find another colorful border piece that slides in just right, and you are encouraged to keep going.
And when you continue working at the puzzle, placing the right pieces and the bad, pushing through the difficult moments, changing the strategies, all the while anticipating the outcome… then, when it is all completed, you sit back and are satisfied.
For, by grace, you have created a beautiful picture!
“If you look for perfection, you'll never be content.” -Leo Tolstoy