My husband is not perfect. Don’t get me wrong, he is wonderful and I love him dearly, but he is far from perfect. He lashes out sometimes when he’s sleep-deprived and stressed. He forgets to take out the trashed or change the oil in the car when I’ve asked at least 1,000 times. And for some strange reason, he doesn’t magically read my mind and bring home flowers when I’ve had a hard day.
Despite the obvious shortcoming of not being telepathic, I love and respect my husband. He’s earned it both through his behavior and by his nature of simply being my husband.
But Facebook marriages often threatens this love and respect I feel.
I log on and see post after post of seemingly perfect husbands and perfect marriages. There are memes telling me what I “deserve” and what I shouldn’t ever put up with. I’m reminded that if a man can’t handle me at my worst, he doesn’t deserve my best. I fall prey to jealousy and start doubting the relationship I have. My eyes and heart are flooded with lies that eat away at my marriage and set up false expectations. On social media, we see the best in others without the counterbalance of seeing their miscommunications and bad moments.
Shortly after we got married, I was disappointed in my husband. I saw friend’s marriages and how thoughtful and wonderful their husbands were. Through Facebook, I witnessed overwhelming amounts of unexpected flowers and waking up to clean kitchens and breakfast in bed. Jealousy and discontentment weaved their way into my pliable heart.
You can imagine my shock when I saw several of these seemingly perfect marriages fall apart and file for divorce only a few short months later. There were various reasons but, in a shocking turn of events, Facebook wasn’t actually a credible measuring stick for their marriages. Their Facebook marriages didn’t actually reflect what was happening in their lives. The smiling couples in their beautifully edited photos gave me simply that, an edited version of their lives.
That’s when I realized, I needed to stop looking at social media, at Facebook marriages, and start looking to the relationship God had given me.I see and love my husband at his worst. In return, I am seen, forgiven, and loved at my worst. #MarriageGoals #Marriage Click To Tweet
While there are many people who flatter me, my husband is the one who puts in the hard work of loving me, day in and day out, even when I’m grumpy. Anyone could buy me flowers (and my husband does surprise me with an occasional bouquet) but it takes someone special to determine over and over again that we shouldn’t go to bed angry, that we need to work out our difficulties and put in the hard work of sorting out miscommunications and angry words. I see and love my husband at his worst. In return, I am seen, forgiven, and loved at my worst.I can content myself in seeing the love I’ve been given in Christ and putting my marriage into perspective by remembering that it is ultimately about my sanctification, not fleeting emotions. #marriagegoals #marriage Click To Tweet
When we look at the good in others and see both the good, the bad, and the ugly in our own marriages, we set ourselves up for failure. Continuing on in this pattern isn’t healthy. Just like pouring over romance novels could set us up for discontent, so too we need to guard against social media. I’m not saying you need to delete all of your accounts and become a hermit, but you do need to be aware of the problem and proactive in protecting yourself and your marriage.
Let us take captive our thoughts and put things into perspective.
Surrounding ourselves with good friends who can encourage our marriages is good. Digging into scripture and reminding ourselves of our role in our marriage is better.
My dad reminded me regularly growing up that I didn’t need to worry about my siblings’ behavior, just my own because, “There was plenty there to keep me busy.” I think the same principle applies to my marriage. When I focus on myself instead of my husband, I realize that I am imperfect but loved deeply. Scripture reminds me over and over that we, the Church, are the Bride of Christ but that we’ve fallen short over and over again. Nevertheless, He pursues and loves us.My dad reminded me regularly growing up that I didn’t need to worry about my siblings’ behavior, just my own because, “There was plenty there to keep me busy.” I think the same principle applies to my marriage. #marriagegoals… Click To Tweet
When this never-failing, always-pursuing love is the standard, how can I keep but loving my husband? I have been loved over and over again despite the hurt I’ve caused. I can content myself in seeing the love I’ve been given in Christ and putting my marriage into perspective by remembering that it is ultimately about my sanctification, not fleeting emotions. But God is good and when my marriage is put into the perspective of eternity, I am filled with joy.
So Facebook, I will keep scrolling past the seemingly perfect pictures and look to the Cross. I will see the love Christ displayed and remember the Christ-likeness my husband displays over and over in his love for me. Because that love, that sacrificial love, is the love that lasts a lifetime.