“If I just find the right person…” There’s a concept that I think has done a lot of harm in the world, especially when it comes to marriage. Right off the bat it has got us focused on someone else and we’ve handed off all our power. We tend to get caught up in romantic ideas about soul mates and finding “the one,”and marriage starts to be based on these mythical ideas that we really have no control over, that are all based on another person.
Mark Gungor said something interesting a while back. He said if any two strangers were BOTH practicing some Christian values they could create a successful marriage. Any two people in the whole world! That’s an idea that kind of flies in the face of modern culture, we’re all about love and sexual chemistry and soul mates, all these vague and ethereal concepts. Conversely we are also all about incompatibility and irreconcilable differences, as if it is possible to simply marry a defective spouse, kind of like ordering something off of Amazon that turns out to be not quite what you had in mind.
Keep in mind that BOTH people have to be practicing some fruit of the spirit to make it work. We’re all defective units, but some people can be so broken they make it extremely challenging to try to have a relationship with them. I’m not trying to divorce shame anyone, it’s just a theoretical concept. Any two strangers in the world have the power and authority within them to create a successful marriage.
That’s healthy attitude to have because it places all of the responsibility on us. There’s really no such thing as incompatible, irreconcilable. There is such a thing as, “I just can’t do this anymore,” and one can certainly empathize there, but it is the mindset and the belief system that I speak of and the cultural notions that may be influencing us without our awareness.
It’s somewhat amusing after all these years, but I went in the complete opposite direction and married the “wrong” person for the “wrong” reasons and we were already proven to be incompatible, irreconcilable. You should see our wedding pictures, we look like the farmer and his wife. No smiles, we might as well be receiving a life sentence in a courtroom. The thing is, from that position there really was nowhere to go but up.
That wrong way of doing things turned out to be right because I didn’t marry Mr. Wrong at all, I inadvertanly got it right, by simply flipping the cultural narrative upside down and defying it. Sometimes what seems backwards is really frontwards.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2