Mar 192013 8 Responses

You Aren’t The Perfect Couple

We live in an outside/in world.

We value what is seen; appearance matters more than substance, persona more than person, charisma more than character.

It’s the reason plastic surgeons make more money than psychologists.

It’s the reason marketing trumps research.

Our outside/in world is slanted in favor of the beautiful, powerful, well-positioned, and elite.

Living in this outside/in world can deceive some into believing the appearance of a good marriage is more important than actually having a good marriage. The appearance is protected at all costs—even the cost of actually having a good marriage.

  • A couple can’t attend a marriage conference for fear of being seen as less than perfect.
  • They can’t go to marriage counseling for fear of people knowing they have problems.
  • They can’t ask for help because to do so would bring an end to the appearance of perfection.

Ending that appearance is worth it.

No marriage is perfect. No couple has all the answers. Every couple must struggle through conflict, differing opinions, and a myriad of situations which life throws at us. To pursue an appearance of perfection is to pursue hypocrisy. Admit it, you aren’t the perfect couple.

Yet, doesn’t the admittance of imperfection make love more real?

If I were perfect, love wouldn’t be much of a choice for my wife. Of course she loves me, I’m perfect. Yet admitting my imperfection and being willing to let go of the facade of perfection makes her love more meaningful. She loves me in spite of my imperfection. Her love means something. It has substance. It’s more than a forced reaction of conditioned genes. She has chosen to love me.

Every day couples pass my office to walk down the hallway for counseling. Some are embarrassed. Some are worried what I might think. My thought is always the same—”good for them.” I’m proud they are seeking help. I’m proud they have admitted they aren’t perfect. I’m proud they are working on their marriage. I’m proud they are choosing to love in the midst of the mess.

Instead of focusing on a perfect appearance, we should focus on a pure heart. Purity is not found in perfection, but in honesty. It’s an internal integrity. It’s where the outside appearance matches the inside reality. There is no part to play, no mask to wear, and no perception to upkeep.

We live in an outside/in world, but Jesus announced his Kingdom was inside/out. We don’t worry about appearances; we worry about internal health. We focus on substance, knowing that appearances will take care of themselves. I think this is what he meant by “Blessed are the pure in heart.” As mercy is given and received, hypocrisy is exchanged for purity. Purity leads to intimacy. Intimacy bonds a couple to endure whatever might come their way.

Everyone wants to be the perfect couple. It sounds romantic. But there is something far better than being perfect; it’s being loved.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

For more on the Beatitudes and marriage, see:

How To Stay Married In the Tough Times

The Method of Marriage

Blessed Are The Married Who Mourn

The Most Important Marriage Advice I Could Ever Give

 

 

8 Responses to You Aren’t The Perfect Couple
  1. […] When Jenny and I first got married, we were like every other newlywed couple. We were merging two se... kevinathompson.com/understanding
  2. […] reveals our sinfulness. Marriage and parenting are the two avenues in which God most often reveals... kevinathompson.com/how-to-stay-married-in-the-tough-times
  3. […] Since there is not one person created for us, we cannot claim we married the wrong person. The choic... kevinathompson.com/happy-valentines-day-youre-not-my-soul-mate
  4. […] As a pastor, I’m thrilled couples are asking for help before they discover the difficulties of... kevinathompson.com/pastor-premarital
  5. […] As it is with computers, so it is with marriage. Every marriage needs a reset button. (See: You Aren... kevinathompson.com/reset
  6. […] Forget perception and focus on the heart. Peace cannot be made as long as we are focused on the pe... kevinathompson.com/the-task-of-marriage-conflict-resolution
  7. […] days, months, seasons of staleness. It’s unavoidable. It’s unavoidable because you aren&... kevinathompson.com/rejuvenate
  8. […] 3. Our marriage is not perfect. As two imperfect people, we produce an imperfect marriage. We miscom... kevinathompson.com/great-couples-handle-failure

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