Standards – ever ask yourself why?

January 12, 2012

in Good Marriage, Series, Understanding Her

Roast in pan © Birgit Brandlhuber | Dreamstime.com

Ever ask yourself why your standards are what they are? Is there a good reason for your standards, or are they something passed on to you you have never really examined?

There is a story about a couple that illustrates this:

The bride was a great cook, but every time she made a roast, she cut the end off and cooked it in a separate pan. Her husband asked why she did this, and she said, “It’s how my mom always does it.” A few weeks later, they are at her parents’ home for Sunday dinner, and the man asks his wife’s mother about the cut of roast end. She explains it’s how her mother taught her to cook a roast. A few months later, they are at the wife’s grandparents, and grandma servers roast. So the husband has to ask, after commenting on how good it is, why she cuts the end off and cooked it separately. Grandma said “Because my roaster is too small for the entire roast.”

Silly as that story is, you know it’s true. We learn things and just keep doing them without questioning the why. We don’t wonder if the good reason for those things has long since ceased to exist, or if the original reason was even valid. Our standards are the same way – we pick them up from our family as we grow up, and some we keep without ever questioning them. Others we reject more out of rebellion than because we have thought it out – so we still have a standard (an anti-standard?) because of someone else.

Are you holding your bride to standards that are mindless? Are you limiting her because of the thinking of people in your past, or even people you have never met? Are your expectations of her based on things that are no longer valid?

I am NOT suggesting just throwing out standards. What I am suggesting is that you examine your standards. One at a time, think about them. Why do you have those standards? Why were those standards created? Are the standards biblical? Are they really Bible based, or were you just told they were? Maybe your standards made sense when and where they originated, but don’t make sense now for your life.

By the way, many of her standards are no doubt the same. Asking her to examine her standards is good; asking her to examine her standards after you have done the same with yours is far better.

A day late, but still good: After doing a post on perspective yesterday, today I come across two other blogs with thoughts on perspective.  Check out The Grand Illusion and Relationship Mishaps, Differing Perspectives and 3 Vital Conversations .

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5 comments
Greg Newton
Greg Newton

I forgot to add: once Covey's wife was able to recognize what had happened and why she felt like she did, she was able to relax and let go of her attachment. But not until.

Greg Newton
Greg Newton

This reminds me of a story in one of Stephen Covey's books about how as a young married couple they needed to buy a new refrigerator and his wife demanded that they buy a Frigidaire brand. In fact, she seemed over the top emotional about it, something that struck him as extremely odd. Of course he wanted to know what that was about and she couldn't really say, only that they absolutely MUST buy a Frigidaire. Her unexplained strong emotional attachment to something that made no logical sense to him caused significant issues in their marriage (the Frigidaire was more expensive and they were on a very tight budget). Only later after much discussion was she able to reveal to herself and then to him that a Frigidaire salesman had once helped her parents, thus creating this very significant emotional attachment.

Lesli Doares
Lesli Doares

I love the roast story. This is exactly why my least favorite word is 'should'. If something resonates with who you are and how you want to be in the world, by all means do it. Challenge any 'should' that doesn't resonate with you. If you don't know why you're doing or thinking something, analyze it. Because that's the way it's always been done shouldn't pass muster. If it did, we'd all still be using outhouses.

John Delcamp
John Delcamp

I agree 100% but there is another side of this to consider and that is when you examine your standards, you need to compare them to God's word, not to other people including our spouse. We may find that we need to raise the standard to please God. It is easy to lower our standards because the world is asking us to do that everyday and because we don't want to stand out, it is easier to lower our standards than it is to keep them. Paul, you are right - we need to examine our standards and some need to be disregarded, some need to be changed, and some need to be raised.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@John Delcamp - You are right - some standards are too low. It's easy to miss/ignore sin if those we trust do the same.

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