What would you say if I suggested that on this Valentine’s Day, you celebrate your “average” marriage?
It doesn’t sound too romantic, does it?
The suggestion certainly goes against the Hollywood notion of love, with its exaggerated portrayals of couples blissfully, breathlessly enraptured with each other.
But let’s get real here.
Real life isn’t like a jewelry ad in a magazine where everything looks picture-perfect. It’s not as exciting as the song on the radio praising the thrill of a brand-new relationship.
Those are fantastical images, perhaps sometimes even rooted in a rare real life moment, but rare nonetheless.
In real life, there are bills to pay, children to raise and cars to fix. We push ourselves to climb out of bed in the predawn dark, change diapers, read the same book over and over, search high and low for the favorite stuffed animal that’s gone missing, fix meal after meal, manage work, take our children to sports practice, wrestle with homework, coordinate bedtime – and then get up and do it all over again in the morning.
And in the midst of life’s hectic pace, husbands and wives try to find time for each other, again and again. We try to make marriage a priority and attempt to connect at a heart level.
Despite the challenges, some of us have wonderful marriages – and that’s great.
But others of us have “good enough” marriages.
What’s a “good enough” marriage?
It’s a relationship that’s had its share of rough spots. It’s a love story that takes its inspiration from “The Little Engine That Could,” chugging along slowly, motivated by equal parts stubbornness and conviction.
These marriages have their fair share of squabbles and misunderstandings.
They’re not picture perfect.
But like sociology professor Mark Regnerus points out, “An unsightly building can still provide shelter.”
So this Valentine’s Day, celebrate everything your marriage is – and what it gives you, your family, and your community.
- Marriage offers spouses companionship, friendship and better health.
- A married mom and dad provides the most long-term benefits for children – over any other combination.
- Marriage helps make both spouses better individuals and shares the burdens of life.
- Marriage empowers women and protects them from domestic and other violence.
- Marriage protects children from harmful behaviors and childhood poverty; it helps set them on a path to greater success.
- Married couples on average build more wealth than singles or cohabitating couples.
When we think about all the benefits even a “good enough” marriage provides, we better understand why we should thank God for it.
This sense of gratitude might help us overlook the blemishes in our marriage and help us see our spouse with fresh eyes.
And this new outlook just might cause us to want to celebrate our marriage.
Tell me about your “good enough” marriage, won’t you?
Why not use this space to celebrate and laud your spouse and wish them a happy Valentine’s Day.
Sound good enough?