It’s been a while since I’ve written one of my rambling, thinking-out-loud, spewing-the-contents-of-my-brain posts … so I’m warning you now – here I go again:
So, with no good books to read while I’m on my “Spring Break”, very few channels on the TV, and the DVDs we brought are all things I’ve seen a million times, I’m reading blogs. For the most part, I can take the good and leave the bad – you know what I mean? I file away the things that apply to me, and just ignore the things that don’t – those things that are ok for someone else but sure don’t work for ME.
Until I came across this book review:
How safe is your marriage? The answer may surprise you.
The biggest threat to any marriage isn’t infidelity or miscommunication. The greatest enemy is ordinary. Ordinary marriages lose hope. Ordinary marriages lack vision. Ordinary marriages give in to compromise. Ordinary is the belief that this is as good as it will ever get. And when we begin to settle for ordinary, it’s easy to move from “I do” to “I’m done.”
You see, I consider myself very ordinary. I mean, check out my blog name! My hope is in the fact that I serve an EXTRAORDINARY God who chooses to use the ordinary folks. I’ve written about this before. I’m usually okay with ordinary.
I do think my husband is an extraordinary guy as far as I’m concerned … he has put up with the likes of me for over 20 years now … and still chooses to love me every day. I think I might have dumped me a few years ago. I know a lot of people who think very highly of Daniel, but for the most part, he’s a very quiet, contemplative guy with a goofy smile (which I love, by the way!). But yeah, we are just your average couple … we aren’t the life of the party, we don’t host the dinners that everyone wants to go to, we aren’t the best looking or most charismatic of people. Because we tend to be fairly quiet around those who don’t know us well, people probably assume we’re pretty boring. Now, they are wrong … but I guarantee if a survey was taken among our social groups, we would definitely not be winning the popularity contest.
I’m sure the book sited above doesn’t mean what I’m making it out to mean. Daniel and I do work on our marriage; we’ve learned a lot in 20 years, we’ve been through some pretty deep valleys and come out still loving each other, probably more so. I realize even ordinary couples, especially ordinary couples, need to break out of the ruts occasionally or risk losing the focus on what made us fall in love in the first place.
My main question, I guess, is: who gets to define what “ordinary” is or what “a good marriage” is?? Maybe we like quiet and predictability? Is divorce inevitable in our near future if we don’t make time for mandated date nights or weekends away or even “at home dates” when we don’t have access to babysitters or money? If we don’t “shake things up” too often then are we destined to fail? Maybe our idea of a good time is going grocery shopping together – are we TOO ordinary, is that too NOT exciting?! And why does this even bother me?!
I guess I’m tired of comparing myself to others’ ideas of concepts like a good marriage, a godly woman, or even a good Christian person. While I’m open to help and advice, only God and I really know what I need or want, only THE BIBLE holds the best definition. Communication with my husband makes it possible to share these things with him too. And we can go from there to write our own love story, so to speak. How did people stay married for 50+ years long before all the advice books were out there?? And while I have read so many good Christian books on marriage, parenting, and other Christian values and views, and have gleaned A LOT from them – many have opened my eyes to things I didn’t realize and I believe God has used to show me things – I think in the end, each Christian needs to be aware of the Holy Spirit leading in their own life for what is right for them, their own marriage, parenting, etc.
Why is all this so important to me that I’d ramble on about it??? I have a blog post forming in my head that I haven’t written yet about all the voices that have molded me over the years, good ones and bad ones, ones that have encouraged me and others that have torn me down … and I’m working on weeding through those voices, those ideas I believed or didn’t believe, and now I am desperately seeking to become the woman, the mom, the wife that GOD ALONE intends me to be … not what all sorts of people (authors, church members, family, friends, etc.) have told me I *should* be. That isn’t a statement against authority or meaning that I don’t have friends and family or church members who I consider a good source of advice and encouragement – I’m just wanting to DISCERN who is right and who isn’t.
For now, I still consider myself ordinary … and as for my marriage, I think the following sums that up for us: