Monday, November 3, 2008

Inner Beauty Beyond 40

Some of the books in my collection were bought when I was still back in the Philippines and which I shipped to Hawaii, as part of my "comfort things".

"Inner Beauty Beyond 40" is authored by Didi Nakar Maranon, a Filipino and a full-time servant of the Lord.  

Chapter 13 talks about "The Perfect Relationship":

The perfect relationship.  Is there even one?  I'm always wary when people use the word "perfect"- just because I know there isn't any!

But one day, I encountered this explanation which made me think.  It said, "Once you've accepted each other's faults and weaknesses, then you have  a perfect relationship." Oh OK....

I think that makes a lot of sense.  A perfect relationship is a harmonious relationship.  It is a relationship that is oozing with contentment.  It is a marriage where both spouses have grown accustomed to each other like a hand and a glove.  You know where one fits in and you know how to cushion the sharp edges of the other.  It is a relationship where the quirks that once irritated you now simply amuse you.  The big word is this perfect relationship is acceptance.

You can't have all you want in a relationship.  But you must want all that is in that relationship in order to be happy.  Of course, I'm talking about peculiarities, differences and character flaws.  Where sin is involved, even the Bible qualifies it thus, "Wives should be submissive to their husbands as if to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:22).  This means submit and accept in matters not crossing the line of disobedience to the Lord.

After 10 years of being married, my husband and I are still working on it.  I huff and puff less now when my husband causes us to be late for an appointment.  He tries to ignore my overreactions.  I turn a deaf ear to his constant whining about anything.  He gives in when I fancy eating in another new restaurant.  We buy "no snore" pillows in an attempt to give each other uninterrupted sleep at night.

I guess it's really about accepting each other's faults and weaknesses that brings you to that much sought after equilibrium in marriage.  Forget the romantic fantasies.  Ignore the litle irritations.  Welcome the real deal - a love that gives, forgives and believes that God will complete the love that He began in each of our hearts.

I must say that following the road of acceptance brought my marriage from being bad to good, from being good to so much better.  We are now in a place like no other.  As Amy Carmicheal wrote, "In acceptance lies peace".

Get rid of all bitterness, all passion and anger,
harsh words, slander, and malice of every kind.
In place of these, be kind to one another, compassionate,
and mutually forgiving, just as God has forgiven you in Christ.
(Ephesians 4:31-32)

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