I started reading books about how to find the perfect husband and have the perfect marriage. Because I wanted both. I also wanted to be the perfect wife whose husband would adore me 24/7.
Since I've been married, I've read MORE books about how to have the perfect marriage. Because I didn't have one.
I read these books and implement what they say expecting that if I do I will have the perfect marriage I've always dreamed of. And then I mess up. Or he messes up. And just like that my hopes of having a perfect marriage are dashed again and I move on to the next book.
Even though in my head I've always known it would NEVER be perfect, because we're not, I go around feeling like a complete loser because we're not. I compare the dirt under the foundation of our house to everyone else's hardwood floors that they've prepped for me to see.
Books are great. Everyone should read books. Blogs are great. Everyone should read blogs. Seminars are great. Everyone should go to seminars. But we also have to remember that even if we read all the books and blogs and go to all of the seminars...we cannot perfectly implement all of the good information all of the time. The people who write the books and blogs and host the seminars don't have perfect marriages or lives.
And guess what?! It doesn't mean we've failed. It means we're human. It means we need Jesus.
It doesn't matter how much you have in common with someone, they are eventually going to get on your nerves. And you might find out things about each other that neither one of you ever wanted any other human being to know about you. And if you truly invest in the level of intimacy that God intended for marriages to have...there will probably be conflict.
I've never been able to implement all the stuff in all the books I've read. But each book has spurred me on to love and good works. And some area of my marriage has improved because of it. And the thing is, small changes over time make a big difference.
I don't have a perfect marriage. But I do have a redeemed one. And the really awesome thing is...the only explanation for the difference is Jesus. Left to our own devices our marriage would be...well...what it was for a long time and worse. He has made all the difference.
I got this photo here.