We are Happy, not Perfect

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Two weeks ago, I wrote a post titled  29 reasons I love my husband.

The post was quite popular but nonetheless and from experience, I know someone may have read it and felt a little disheartened.

happy, not perfectEarly in my own marriage, sappy marriage stories often turned me off.

Marriage turned out to be a little harder than I thought. So I gravitated towards those who shared how to have a happy marriage  – not just how happy they were in their marriage.

Happy, not Perfect

God has blessed me with a great man. But as human beings, Tommy and I are imperfect.

Imperfect people do not have perfect relationships. Our marriage is happy, not perfect.

Most people already agree that a perfect marriage doesn’t exist.

Nonetheless many feel their level of ‘imperfect’ is greater than everyone else’s.

If you have struggled/are struggling with “great imperfection”, let me share a few things I’ve learned

1. Marriage gets better with time.

Yes it does.

If you work at it.

Tommy and I have grown. We are not where we used to be.

The grace of God and passage of time have refined us (and we still have a long way to go)

Understand that growth takes time. It takes years and tears to turn a little a child into a responsible productive adult.

You must give your marriage time and space to grow. Don’t be in a rush, don’t get weary in well-doing, focus on God and keep working on the relationship.

2. You live what you choose to see.

“Secret conversations held privately in your mind shape your destiny.” Pastor Howard Kane

Your inner meditations determine the course of your relationship. Happiness in marriage comes from  choosing one’s reality. Now that’s not a escapist statement – it’s the reality of a faith-filled life.

A strong marriage comes from choosing God’s reality/perspective over your own (what your eyes can see).

You must choose what to believe, cos what you believe becomes your reality.

Jim Rohn puts it this way “The problem with drifting is that no one drifts to the top of a mountain”. You don’t drift into happiness. You work your way there.

What you dwell on multiplies. The seed you put in the soil (of your mind or heart) grows. It  becomes a huge tree. And it produces seeds which will bear other big trees.

You must plant and nurture the right kind of seeds.

3. You need to change first.

Very early in marriage, I noticed a pattern. Whenever I went to God and asked Him to change my husband or my circumstances, I got a vague feeling that He was waiting on  something.

It took many months to figure out that God was more interested in what was going on inside me than what was going on outside me. He was waiting on me to change.

Now if you are wondering how to grow this marriage thing, how to get to a place where you do a never ending list, start allowing yourself to be molded, to be changed into His likeness.

It’s always about you, no matter how tough your outer conditions are. If He can get through you, He is then able to work on your circumstances. You’ll be surprised how quickly His method works.

Why you love your spouse

I loved some of the comments shared in the post and I thought I’d share some of them.

Dave Arnold said I don’t have enough room to list all the things I love about my wife. I’ve often told her: it’s not books or sermons or friends who have had the most impact on me… it’s my wife. I am truly blessed!” (By the way, Dave has a great book coming out sometime in February, stay tuned!)

Dan Black said ” I love my wife’s strong faith in God, wonderful attitude, pureness about life, and commitment to our marriage.”

TCAvey said “…mine is a true gift from God, I learn that more with each passing day.”

Paula Kent said “…when I cross the bridge, I will definitely create a list ”

Beth Steffaniak said “This is a great idea–maybe one I could give my husband for Valentines Day. ”

Now on to my never-ending list  on  “Why I love my husband” (Linking up with Happy Wives Club!)

#33 He brags about me whenever he has an opportunity. You’ll find me spotting a “who is that woman?” look;  right before I melt into mushy pulp.

#34 He’s a “closet” preacher (well, not so much anymore) and I adore how he breaks down the word of God to me.

#35 He loves to play and make me laugh – tickles, piggyback rides, wrestling, hide and seek, hilarious tales – and more  – just to see me come alive.

(you can find more reasons here and here)

Question – How do you overcome challenges in your own relationship? Please share in Comments

41 Comments

  1. Michelle G says:

    Great post, I’m on week two of ‘Why I love my husband’. You are right when you say you can’t change anything but yourself. When you focus on things that aren’t great, they magnify. It’s far better to focus on the good, in my first post I think I said something like ‘He does plenty of things that drive me mad but for every one of those I can list 20 things I love about him’. That’s what I concentrate on.

    1. I love love that last line Michelle! wow. It’s all about what we focus on. And what we focus on grows! Thanks so much for sharing

  2. Sorry for the late comment, Ngina – I’ve been recovering from surgery.
    You hit the nail on the head when you talked about the power of our thoughts and what we dwell on. That’s been so true in my experience. When I stew on things that upset me about my wife, my marriage is totally different than when I concentrate on what I love about her.

    1. Am so sorry about the surgery Loren, praying for a quick recovery.
      What we dwell on make a huge difference! I believe that’s why God tells us what to allow into our hearts (Philippians 4:8) . Thanks so much for coming by, (even while recovering) I so appreciate.

  3. Surrender…pliability…willing to learn, accepting to be ‘sharpened’, Thanks for this follow up article…great read!

    1. Great additions Lance, wow.

      You insights remind me something our best man (your cousin ๐Ÿ™‚ ) told Tommy on our wedding day. He looked at him straight in the eye and said “From now on, just accept to die!” We laughed so hard…but pretty soon began to SEE and LIVE the truth of those words!
      Thanks so much for coming by my friend.

      1. Lawrence Namale says:

        The pleasure is mine. Peter’s wisdom is impeccable…that simple line is the bedrock on which successful marriages are run. Keep writing.

          1. I know Peter. LOL. Also, I have not missed you two :-). Perchance you find your page quite heavy, blame me on the traffic. Catching up on your blogs.

            1. Peter is a wise one, isn’t he ๐Ÿ™‚

              We have not missed you too ๐Ÿ™‚ lolest.

              Glad you are catching up ๐Ÿ™‚ I mindeth not the traffic ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’m so glad you addressed this issue from another angle, Ngina. Not that I thought about that when reading your other article, but I can see where some might feel discouraged when they compare themselves to your marriage. It really does look so good! Yay for that! But I also loved the quote, โ€œ’The problem with drifting is that no one drifts to the top of a
    mountain’. You donโ€™t drift into happiness. You work your way there.” That’s so true and so powerful. Thanks so much for being a beacon to all marriages, my friend!

    1. oh my marriage looks that “shiny” from the outside? And the way I thought I share enough “unshiny” things to dim some lights! Lol!

      It’s true, God has blessed me! We are happy, we’ve overcome challenges and continue to find victory in Him.

      i used to live in “compare-ville” myself – i thought everyone else had it better than me. Only to discover that EVERYONE didn’t! Most were working hard on their marriages..no one was perfect. Just took a while to understand that none of us is immune and that marriage is work.

      Sorry for that long rumbling reply! lol. Always appreciate you my friend, thanks so much for coming by.

  5. You need to put up billboards all over the country to display these.

    “You live what you choose to see,” and “You need to change first,” speak the loudest to me. Those are the two things that probably started the upward movement in our marriage after long and fruitless struggle.

    I truly believe that seeing what we want to see is so much easier than seeing reality. We can manufacture so many misleading thoughts and perceptions — far more work in the long run, but our minds seem to conjure them effortlessly! Our own humanity coupled with the encouragement of Satan send us into whirlpools of doubt and misgivings, as well as dislike, disgust and even hatred that a spouse may have not earned at all.

    DEFINITELY choose to see goodness and mercy and love and positive intent. It’s either or, I think. You either choose to see this way first, or you choose to change yourself, first. Either way, you win!

    Thanks, Ngina, for another inspiring post!

    1. Amy, what amazing insights here! So many truths! I really agree, seeing what we want to see comes more easily to us. God’s truth runs counter-flesh and we must fight to stay in His truth.

      i love this – “DEFINITELY choose to see goodness and mercy and love and positive intent.”
      and “either way, you win”. Now THAT should be on billboards!

      Thank so much for reading and sharing. If you don’t mind my asking, do you have a blog? You have so much insight ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Love this post!!! I often feel the same way as you… I feel like I blog about how wonderful marriage is…but it’s down right hard some days. We all go through different seasons, that’s for sure! But I loved your point of we live what we choose to see! SO very true! If we all focused on the ick in our marriages … that’s what we’d be blogging about and focused on daily, thinking our marriages were awful. yikes! Plus, I feel like comparison is a huge tool of the enemy! If we start comparing our marriages to others, it gets us in trouble… unsatisfied, discouraged, and a big case of why can’t we be more like them! โ™ฅ Have a great Wednesday!

    tisthammers.blogspot.com

    1. Carrie, i like what you say about the irks..! we could easily inhabit that land cos it feels easier to dwell there! But it’s neither helpful nor is it healthy/God’s plan for us. I blog about intentional relationships and i encourage people to push through and make choices that lead to success, no matter how hard road feels. thanks so much for dropping in and sharing. Love you blog by the way… it’s so pretty! just digging in.

  7. Lori @ Encourage Your Spouse says:

    It’s so true – marriage does get better over time! And some years are better than others. One couple we know describes their 33 years of marriage as 31 happy years – year 3 and 18 were not good. Robert and I joke that it’s a 20-year warm up! I especially like your 3rd point – changing myself is the most effective way to move forward.

    1. 20 year warm-up..that’s so funny. I sure agree that some years can be better than others..I’ve seen that too in my own marriage. But generally and if we keep working on things, the graph will will register a stead rise, even with those occasional dips ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much for passing by and sharing Lori

  8. I’m constantly reminding myself that my marriage is not about me it’s about my wife. Whenever I put my foot down and demand my way I usually end up shooting myself in that same foot. However, when I show mercy and am willing to compromise I always receive in return much more than I deserve.

    1. Caleb, what great insights – shooting yourself in the foot is an apt description! Marriage is such a close intimate unit that hurting the other person equals hurting yourself. And blessing the other part yields more than we had sowed. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing.

  9. Correct, my marriage is not perfect, but we are happy, sad, mad, confused, silly all of those things together. We noticed that the only time when our marriage seemed rocky was when it was not focused around God. As long as that foundation is there and both people buy into Christ being the central focus. Nobody can say otherwise, we ignore outside worldly voices and keep our marriage in a bubble.

    1. “we ignore outside worldly voices and keep our marriage in a bubble” Love love that! Marriage must be personalized and protected. As Christians, Christ is the foundation and rock. Doing things His way guarantees success. Thanks for reading and sharing Lincoln.

  10. Dave Arnold says:

    Great post! Especially the point on you live what you chose to see. That is so true. Paul tells us to dwell on things that are good, pure, and noble (Phil. 4:8). I can’t think of anything better than a marriage to do that with. Thanks for the shout out, too!

    1. That’s a perfect-fit Scripture Dave, thanks for sharing it and adding great value.

      Link – my pleasure ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. “Imperfect people do not have perfect relationships.”

    Whaaat?????? You’re bursting my bubble here, Ngina! I was just waiting for my husband to become perfect so we could have the perfect relationship!!

    Don’t worry, just kidding. Although sad to say, I wouldn’t have been kidding in the early years of our marriage. Society tells us all we need to do is find our soulmate and we’ll be happy which seems to imply there is a perfect person out there that will make us happy.

    It took quite a few years of marriage to see how incredibly imperfect I was. God used my marriage to mold me and shape me, and I definitely needed some reshaping!

    I love, love, love your approach to marriage. Your three points today are wonderful – realistic, truthful, and encouraging. Thanks for the good reminders today!

    1. Barb you are such an encouragement to me! I thank and bless God for you.

      Lol, had a great laugh!..the “ouch-been-there-done-that-got-the-tshirt’ kind of laugh! I so identify! My goodness, the kind of attitudes and ideas that God has to deal with..so glad He’s God (and am not) ๐Ÿ™‚

      I like this statement “waiting for my husband to become perfect so we could have the perfect relationship”. There are too many people in that waiting room unfortunately.

      1. Yes, and they’re all mad at their husbands. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Thanks for sharing my comment ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love this quote- Jim Rohn puts it this way โ€œThe problem with drifting is that no one drifts to the top of a mountainโ€.
    It’s so true. We can just drift through life or marriage and think it will get better. We have to work at it and allow God the freedom to change us.

    My spouse and I are going through a rough time right now due to circumstances out of our control. While we are praying for things to change, we are also asking God to mold us and change us. And He is! While we are awaiting a change in our circumstances, He is drawing us closer to Him and helping us to see what really matters in life. He is changing our priorities and that is already making a difference in how we are viewing this “problem”.

    1. You are welcome TC ๐Ÿ™‚ This community adds so much value and am constantly blown away by the insights and wisdom here.

      I love how God works through difficult times. If we allow Him to have our hearts He turns everything for good. I am glad that you and hubby are finding Him faithful.

      Barb Raveling said something powerful in a comment today (at her blog) “I’m always thankful in the end (of a trial) that He did not fix the trial right away because the growth and the fruit of the Spirit that come out of the trial are always worth it.”
      I know you will find this to be true as well (and you already are). I am praying for you. thanks so much for sharing.

      1. Thanks so much for your prayers. I greatly appreciate them. Barb has some wonderful insights and wisdom…I enjoy her blog!
        Thanks for sharing.

  13. Bernard Haynes says:

    I loved number one. It takes time and work for your marriage to grow. My wife and I facilitate a premarital class and one thing we tell each couple that it is going to take time, patience and work to make your marriage successfully. Because you get married and have a beautiful wedding does not seal the deal. You must allow God to stir the ship. You and your spouse must work together as a team to become flesh. A happy and fulfilling marriage is not a one time event, but a life time journey. Excellent post.

    1. Bernard, I love what you and your wife do. It’s something my husband and I are passionate about as well. You’ve shared some of the exact things we tell courting couples. A wedding is an event, marriage is for a lifetime. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, wonderful insights.

  14. I have learned when I grow and nurture my relationship with God my marriage becomes better. Think about a pyramid and each spouse at the bottom of each side(one on the left and the other on the right) and God at the top. When we focus and develop our relationship with God we move toward the top of the pyramid and become closer with our spouse at the same time. Great post!

    1. Dan I love love your example of pyramid. it’s so true, when we are growing vertically, our horizontal relationship benefits. We can’t be slothful in our personal walk with God and reap greatness with our spouse.

      1. Glad you enjoyed it. It’s something I keep in my mind and really helps.

  15. “You don’t drift into happiness.” I like that. My experiences tell me that it is pride and selfishness that cause the majority of disagreements in a marriage. If we’re putting our spouses in a Godly perspective, then they come before us every time. Imagine how great it would be if we all had that discipline and strength to pull that off?

    1. i think we’d have heaven on earth! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s hard to pull it off every time, am grateful for a patient forgiving spouse and patient forgiving God ๐Ÿ™‚

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