I was thinking about the old adage, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. I’ll spare the reader a back story but in my experience, it’s only half true. I’ve seen too many couples in recent years where the wife could barely boil water. The difference from one couple to the next is as simple as whether or not the woman has shown a willingness to try and improve in the areas that are important to her intended.
The kitchen is a readily available example for me because I spend so much time in mine, but cooking is not an area where our girls are deficient. Of our three young adult daughters, their kitchen proficiency varies but are solid. One is very talented, a second is quite skilled, and a third is able enough. Like everyone else however, they have areas where they need to improve. The key here is not to beat yourself up about it.
Making the perfect the enemy of the good will make you crazy. Allowing other people’s prescriptive rhetoric to infect your mind can leave you feeling unnecessarily guilty and condemned. Setting others’ priorities as your own is not only a sure road to misery, but it’s also indicative of a lack of confidence in the priorities you (or your future husband) have for you. Conquering this tendency while single will make it markedly easier to set the proper priorities when you have a family of your own. But you have to practice the art of ignoring extemporaneous nonsense from other people – right now.
Does that mean we are to ignore wise counsel? Of course not! If your priorities are all screwed up, own it and set them aright. This also doesn’t negate the need to be respectful to those in our lives who know more than we do and have experienced more than we have. We need other people to help us along the way. Unfortunately, and I have been guilty of this as well, many people are steadfastly incapable of respecting others’ right to be different from them. What’s more, they tend to conflate their pet ideals with the one and only way to be a good Christian. Those kinds of people can be toxic, so handle with care if you must handle them at all.
One thing you have total control of is the amount of effort and energy you are willing to exert to improve your weak areas. It’s one thing to accept your limitations and acknowledge your weaknesses. It’s another thing to use them as an excuse not to change and grow. Our current cultural mantra runs along the lines of, “I’m okay, you’re okay (girl power!) and any man who doesn’t love you for who you are and what you bring to the table right now isn’t worth it.”
That is BS. Just about every relationship we enter, we enter on our perception of the potential for that relationship in our lives. I married a man with a lot of potential yet to be capitalized upon. He married a girl with potential and a palpable willingness to learn to be the partner he needed. It was more than good enough. Friendships and marriages are not exempt from being entered with a bit of expectation.The takeaway:
Capitalize on your strengths, and don’t get too bummed out about the things you have yet to learn.
Just be eager and willing to learn them.
Lord willing, the next post will be at the beginning of the new year. Merry Christmas!