My (Jay’s) mom has a famous saying…”sorry kiddo there’s no perfection in this world!” Mostly she would say that to me when I would get disappointed because my expectations for a situation went unmet. Unmet expectations can be a real killer in relationships and are exacerbated by our culture and it’s obsession with social media, comparison, and perfectionism.
We love Social Media! It’s a great way to stay in touch with distant friends, to watch their kids grow and in general to stay up on what’s “new”. Unfortunately, everyone posts their “A” game on Social Media and as a result, we never see the “real” life that they are living.
For example, if people were to look at our Facebook page they would see all the fun places we get to travel and all the neat people we get to meet. They would think we have a “dream job” and to a certain extent, we do. However, what they won’t see is us crawling into bed at 2am because our flight was delayed. Or the constant battle with weight because we are on the road all the time and exercise is non-existent and eating out is the norm.
Only looking at others “A” game simply leads to…
When we compare we tend to get stuck on the idea of “why is everyone else’s life so much better than mine?” Their life isn’t better than your’s it’s just different. Again you don’t know their struggles and challenges. Further, you don’t know their past and the path they have walked.
Comparison is the thief of JOY
When we compare, we rob ourselves of the tremendous JOY that comes from knowing God is in control and He has you right where He wants you. When we focus on the blessings we DO have we tend to see our life differently, our spouse differently and our relationships differently. All in the light of God and His sovereignty.
And when we realize God is in control we can eliminate…
I (Jay) remember thinking early in our marriage that if Laura was more like me we’d have a perfect marriage. Then she gently reminded me that if both of us were the same…one of us wouldn’t be necessary…and I can tell you who that would be!
Ruth Graham once said that good marriages are made up of two great forgivers! Nothing could be closer to the truth!! When we realize all that God has forgiven in me, it becomes easier to forgive others, particularly our spouse.
It’s only when we learn to forgive that we understand the phrase “There ain’t know perfection in this world” and realize this axiom:
Focus on Progress NOT Perfection. Set realistic goals in your marriage. Setting reasonable, manageable, measurable goals is how you progressively move your marriage in a positive direction. Here are just a few examples of realistic goals:
- Set a budget for your family and meet with your spouse once a month to make sure you are on track.
- Date once a week, but alternate who decides what to do for the date.
- Join a gym and commit to 30 minutes of exercise three days a week.
When we focus on Progress NOT Perfection, we give our marriage room to grow!