Thursday, January 22, 2009

Embrace Imperfection

The Secret to a Lasting Marriage: Embrace Imperfection
Deb Graham -
Contributor


When I was a little girl, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner
every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had
made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and
extremely burned toast in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if
anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my
mom, and ask me how my day was at school.

I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching
him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite! When I got
up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to
my dad for burning the toast. And I'll never forget what he said: "Baby,
I love burned toast."

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he
really liked his toast burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said,
"Debbie, your momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real
tired. And besides-a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!"

In bed that night, I thought about that scene at dinner and the kindness
my daddy showed my mom. To this day, it's a cherished memory from my
childhood that I'll never forget. And it's one that came to mind just
recently when Jack and I sat down to eat dinner.

I had arrived home late as usual and decided we would have breakfast
food for dinner. Some things never change, I suppose!

To my amazement, I found the ingredients I needed, and quickly began to
cook eggs, turkey sausage, and buttered toast. Thinking I had things
under control, I glanced through the mail for the day. It was only a
few minutes later that I remembered that I had forgotten to take the
toast out of the oven!

Now, had it been any other day -- and had we had more than two pieces of
bread in the entire house -- I would have started all over. But it had
been one of those days and I had just used up the last two pieces of
bread. So burnt toast it was!

As I set the plate down in front of Jack, I waited for a comment about
the toast. But all I got was a "Thank you!" I watched as he ate bite by
bite, all the time waiting for some comment about the toast. But
instead, all Jack said was, "Babe, this is great. Thanks for cooking
tonight. I know you had a hard day."

As I took a bite of my charred toast that night, I thought about my mom
and dad how burnt toast hadn't been a deal-breaker for them. And I
quietly thanked God for giving me a marriage where burnt toast wasn't a
deal-breaker either!

You know, life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I'm not
the best housekeeper or cook. And you might be surprised to find out
that Jack isn't the perfect husband! He likes to play his music too
loud, he will always find a way to avoid yard work, and he watches far
too many sports. Believe it or not, watching " Golf Academy " is not my
idea of a great night at home!

But somehow in the past 37 years Jack and I have learned to accept the
imperfections in each other. Over time, we have stopped trying to make
each other in our own mold and have learned to celebrate our
differences. You might say that we've learned to love each other for
who we really are!

For example, I like to take my time, I'm a perfectionist, and I'm
even-tempered. I tend to work too much and sleep too little. Jack, on
the other hand, is disciplined, studious, an early riser, and is a
marketer's dream consumer. I count pennies and Jack could care less!
Where he is strong, I am weak, and vice versa.

And while you might say that Jack and I are opposites, we're also very
much alike. I can look at him and tell you what he's thinking. I can
predict his actions before he finalizes his plans. On the other hand, he
knows whether I'm troubled or not the moment I enter a room.

We share the same goals. We love the same things. And we are still best
friends. We've traveled through many valleys and enjoyed many
mountaintops.

And yet, at the same time, Jack and I must work every minute of every
day to make this thing called "marriage" work!

What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's
faults - and choosing to celebrate each other's differences - is one
of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting
marriage relationship.

And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the
good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your married life and lay them at
the feet of GOD. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able
to give you a marriage where burnt toast isn't a deal-breaker!

3 comments:

Chee-Siong said...

Great story!!! I'm a true believer on this.

icafe said...

Thank you, my dear. That's what the unconditional love is.

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