Idealistic. 13 years ago I puzzled over what our premarital counselor revealed to us. We idealized marriage and each other. I vaguely connected that idealism and marriage didn’t mix. That idealism would be some kind of obstacle to be hurdled in our marriage. Idealism sounded good though. The way our counselor approached it started 13 years of occasional yet persistent head scratching.
Pessimistic. The opposite of idealistic? Who would get married? Why would anyone get married if they sincerely had such low hope of success? I’ve never seriously thought our marriage would end in divorce even on the lowest days. Is that pride? To think we’ll escape? Or is it idealism?
Realistic. Living in what is. Recognizing what is true–the true state of myself and my husband. It’s quite the comedown from idealism but not nearly so depressing as pessimism. Realism is the path I’m on now. Who am I…really? Who is he…really? Who is God in all of this reality?
Releasing idealism feels like a denial of what God desired in marriage. But, even that seems to be imprisoned in idealism. What did God really say about marriage? Not nearly as much as I’d like Him to say, that’s for sure! Respect, love, sacrifice, honor, submit, multiply, cherish, nurture, unify.
My most recent ponderings on marriage come from a 30-something single guy, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Marriage is a “yes” to God’s earth. A “yes” to living in the present world God created and the present world that is fallen. In marriage we worship God in His humanity and His deity. In marriage we need not hide anything from God. We steal nothing from “behind His back”. He is spiritual and physical.
There’s much I’d like to cover. There’s much my husband would like to cover. The path for us is choosing to trust God by laying everything before Him together. It doesn’t always happen. Reality.