Things I’ve Learned in Twenty-Five Years of Marriage – Part 12

It Is Possible To Have a Perfect Marriage

Photo Credit: blavandmaster Flickr via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: blavandmaster Flickr via Compfight cc

If someone told you that they had a perfect marriage you’d probably be a bit suspicious. You might assume that they must be newlyweds. Or maybe you smile as you think “Clearly they’ve not been married long enough to know better.” There may even be the off chance that you simply believe they’re just lying. Any one of these, or any number of other things, would probably go through your mind. Why? Because most of us believe that it isn’t possible to have a perfect marriage. How could it be possible to have a perfect marriage when we are imperfect people?

If someone asked me, several years ago, whether my marriage was perfect I’d have quickly said that it wasn’t. No way! Now however, I’d respond differently. I didn’t believe that a perfect marriage was possible. But now I believe that I have a perfect marriage, although neither I or my wife are perfect people. Now I understand that a perfect marriage is absolutely possible. We just need to understand what such a marriage looks like.

It doesn’t take two perfect people in order to have a perfect marriage. In fact, the more perfect the couple perceive that they may be the less perfect their marriage will be. Here are four things that help a couple of imperfect people have a perfect marriage.

Humility

The perfect marriage begins with two people who are humble enough to openly admit to each other their imperfection. Both husband and wife need to be open to the truth that apart they are far less than they are together. Hubris and arrogance are sure signs of a marriage that is less than perfect.

Commitment

The perfect marriage is heavy on commitment. The couple is first committed to their individual relationships with God, and then committed to each other. The perfect marriage is so heavy in the area of commitment that no issue is insurmountable. Neither sickness, anger, infidelity, or financial ruin can derail this union. Without commitment, the imperfections that are inherent in both husband and wife can easily derail the relationship.

Honesty

The couple in the perfect marriage are honest. There is an openness in the couple’s communication that stems from their humility and commitment. While communication is a skill that is continually honed throughout over the course of a lifetime, the perfect marriage is highlighted by an overriding desire to be truthful with each other. Secrets, the couple in this marriage will understand, go against both humility and commitment. I would hold a secret in an effort to continue a false air of perfection (the opposite of humility).

Friendship

The perfection marriage is a union of friends. Real friends. Both husband and wife desire to spend time together. Talking, not talking, walking, sitting, reading, watching…it doesn’t matter. In the perfect marriage the couple just wants to be together as much as possible. When they aren’t together they’re texting, talking on the phone, thinking about each other in some way.

Remember, the people in the perfect marriage aren’t perfect people. They have flaws. They mess up from time to time. They need grace and forgiveness. They will forget important things. They may get angry. But they’re humble, committed, and honest friendship makes their marriage perfect.

When I think of the four things I’ve listed as necessary for a perfect marriage, I think of my relationship with God. The things that make that relationship work also have made my marriage work.