When a person, or in our instance a couple, works with others to build better, stronger marriages or recover after an affair, at some point someone says, “Oh yeah!? Well is YOUR marriage perfect?” I hope you don’t mind but I’d like to address that question because I think it’s very pertinent. I would like to state right here and now that Dear Hubby and I do not have a perfect marriage. We are just like everyone else: we sin, we occasionally disagree, and now and then we even fight. In our pasts, neither one of us was perfect–in fact far from it! We didn’t grow up in perfect middle-income America with manicured lawns in suburbia. We both had families that went to church and learned some from that as children, but neither family was perfect either. And when we grew up, both of us chose to do what we knew was wrong and ended up marrying people who were not a wise choice for a Christian believer. We both chose people who were non-believers, and we both tried to stick with our marriages but paid the price for it. We both did ungodly things like drinking, smoking, partying and general rabble-rousing. We both made bad decisions or selfish decisions–and at times we still do to this day!
Why is this important now? Well some people think that in order to help others or minister that it has to be someone who has been married 40 years, never disagreed, and never, ever sinned personally. Some people think that if you try to help others that you’re saying “Hello! I have all the answers!” but I personally disagree with that. I believe that every single one of us is a sinner–even those folks who grew up in manicured suburbia who had perfect families who went to church and they grew up and married a believer and had 2.5 perfect kids. I believe that every one of us falls short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23) and yet we are called on to use our gifts to edify each other–even while we are imperfect! (I Cor. 12)
So no, we don’t have a perfect marriage. We sometimes get lax with each other too, or avoid a topic that’s painful. We think of ourselves and not of each other. We feel like we do all the work and our spouse just rides on our coat-tails (and the funniest part…we both feel that way at the same time!). We disagree–which is fine–but sometimes we get snarky about it. But I think the difference is that when we do make a mistake like that in our imperfect marriage, we have learned how to fix it. We have also learned some good habits over time and learned some generally helpful things about our personalities, love languages, what builds love and what tears it down…and those are the things we want to share with you.