Work in progress? That’s what all our marriages are… Your marriage isn’t perfect and neither are you or your spouse. Neither are Rob and me. We all are just a work in progress.

Sometimes we might miss out on an opportunity to encourage our spouse because we’re so caught up in the pursuit of perfection. Could this elusive state of perfection be an idol?

Perfection versus a Work in Progress

Perfection is something we, in North America, are tuned into. Our media urges its attainment with advertisements on how to have perfect skin, the perfect body, the perfect car, the perfect place to live … you get the idea.

In addition to media, those around us are full of the “shoulds” in life…

  • we should save for retirement
  • we should spend more time with our kids
  • we should have a college degree
  • we should call our parents more
  • we should help out in the community
  • we should be a great cook,
  • we should … (fill in the blank here)
  • we should … (fill in the blank here)
  • we should … (fill in the blank here)

Lately, Robert and I are questioning the “shoulds” in life. We’re asking “why should we…?”

Why Should We…?

That question stops perfectionism in its tracks and helps us redefine our priorities depending on our answers. It kicks the idol of perfectionism to the curb!

I hate to break it to you, but being perfect is impossible. There was only One living human who walked on this earth who was perfect – Christ. Yes, we are are working to become Christ-like, however, we are a work in progress.

You are not perfect – you are a work in progress.

Your spouse is not perfect – just a work in progress.

Your relationship with your spouse is just as much a work in progress.

Here are a few examples of couples with work-in-progress relationships:

  • I’m watching a young couple form a relationship and as they shift perspectives, negotiate priorities and decide values – they are a work in progress. That couple often needs time to talk through their disagreements, yet they’re hopeful as they overcome each issue.
  • This week I talked with a young wife, married less than 5 years, who wants to to be able to have a “date” night every week. Their life is too busy right now, and she’s disappointed yet hopeful – their marriage is a work in progress.
  • Robert and I are married 25 years this May and our marriage continues to be a work in progress. We’re navigating through the maze of responsibilities we now hold as we try to paint a picture of what the future will look like. We’re optimistically hopeful that the next 25 years will be good.
  • I had an email from a wife married more than 50 years and she explained how we can’t expect our husbands to automatically have skills we’ve honed for years – like shopping on a budget and finding the best “deal”. She detailed how her husband had just come home from the store and was thrilled to have made wise purchases. In their 50+ years of marriage they still have new things to learn about each other, and about navigating the responsibilities in marriage. She’s thankful to share the adventure of their marriage of 50+ years, even though it’s still a work in progress!

So please stop expecting things in your marriage relationship to be perfect! Everyone is working to progress.

To quote the wife married 50+ years:

” … it is good to share good news, and it’s encouraging perhaps for others to know that it’s never too late for a marriage to be improved, even salvaged. God is in the business of restoring all things, including marriages. It takes commitment to the marriage “for better or for worse”, faith in God and His Word, trust, patience, perseverance, and prayer.”

Have hope. And keep in mind your relationship doesn’t have to be perfect – just a work in progress.

You and your spouse are a work in progress! Keep moving forward. Don't make perfection an idol.

Be a work in progress -Don't miss the wave God wants you to surf, because you've made perfection your idol.- FB

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Discover Your Values as a Couple

How can you make sure those values you live – together as husband and wife– are consistent, cohesive, and have a lasting impact?

Values help you prioritize - decide when and what to do in a situation, and then remain consistent in all your decisions.

Check out the guide and workbook for couples!

Also includes an audio version!