Let’s face it, we all kind of wanted that guy who would be sort of . . . well, perfect. He wouldn’t actually be perfect, but it’s not like he’d hurt us and we’d have to forgive him, right? He can have imperfections, as long as they don’t really affect me. Ah, ignorance is bliss sometimes. I got married, I didn’t marry a perfect man, and we don’t have a perfect marriage. What was I expecting? Mr. Perfection, perhaps.
LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MR. PERFECTION
It’s a beautiful picture, right? Whenever I’m upset or anything, he knows exactly what to say, understands me perfectly (because he’s Mr. Perfection, of course), and never gets angry at me or tired of me. He always pays kind compliments, reads my mind (in other words, reads the hints I drop when I’m angry), always keeps his clothing put away, cleans the kitchen, never gets the bathroom dirty, and never ever does anything that would hurt me. He never listens half-consciously to what I’m saying, causing me to repeat what I said (the powers of photosynthesis will all unleash at once if that happens), and we’re perfectly compatible. We’re perfectly matched and are perfect together. Well, he’s perfect anyway…
I DIDN’T MARRY MR. PERFECTION; YOU DIDN’T; YOU WON’T
In fact, I’m perfectly certain he doesn’t exist. My husband is an imperfect collection of high IQ, absent-mindedness, lovingness, thoughtlessness, selflessness, and selfishness. When he doesn’t match up to my Mr. Perfection, I get angry with him. But why should I? I’m not any better than my husband, yet somehow I had higher expectations for him (because it’s not like he’s a fallible human or anything, right?). How can I expect him to forgive my shortcomings while I hold on to bitterness and hurt, refusing to forgive him? Goodness, God has forgiven me of so much more than the things for which I will have to forgive my husband; it’s pitiful for me to hold onto offenses when God has cleared my much-cloudier slate!
Just to be sure we’re on the same page here, my husband is the best man I know. He really and truly serves and loves me better than I’ve ever seen a man do in my life. He encourages me to communicate, to put God first, to trust, and to not be afraid. Countless times, he has stayed up late, sacrificing his time and brain power to make sure everything is right between us. He’s the most incredible human I know, yet sometimes I lose sight of the fact that he is, indeed, human. He has hurt me in his humanness, just as I’ve hurt him in my humanness, and I need to expect that, preparing to forgive him unreservedly.
It’s important to remember that your spouse will hurt you, sometimes intentionally, and often unintentionally. When these times come, because they will, don’t be taken off guard; rather, take the opportunity to extend the grace that has already been extended to you. Maybe your spouse doesn’t or won’t deserve forgiveness, but neither did you and neither did I. It can be hard to love and forgive, especially when you’re hurt more than once, but I promise you it’s worth the deeper union with your spouse and God that will result from these trying times.
You didn’t marry Mr. Perfection, you won’t marry Mr. Perfection, and your marriage is not and will not ever be perfect. It can, however, be an incredible demonstration of the gospel as you both seek to love each other and forgive each other, no matter what the cost. That, my friends, is beautiful.