Is close enough good enough?

July 27, 2012

in Communication, Good Marriage

Walking and talking © Orangeline | Dreamstime.com

I was expecting (hoping?) someone would comment on yesterday’s Forget perfect, it’s rarely necessary post and suggest I was advocating not doing our best.

Finding balance on this is a difficult thing. Push too much for perfection and you will accomplish little because perfection rarely happens in real life. Seeking perfection is also a great way to drive your bride crazy, especially if your desired level of perfection is significantly greater than hers. On the other hand, if you are too unconcerned with doing things well, you will fail to meet her needs and desires.

I think the level of perfection we need to aim for is an ever-changing thing. How much we can and should do is going to change depending on our life circumstances. This is not to say our spouse is last place, getting what is left over; there needs to be a minimum we do and give to our spouse, and then we go beyond that as we have the opportunity. Setting a minimum level well is important, but we need to realise the minimum level is not sufficient to keep our marriage healthy if it is all we give for an extended time. What’s more, the minimum is never going to lead to growth in our marriage.

The other side of this is your spouse needs to do the same thing – and you need to be okay with it. If her minimum is too low, let her know in a loving way. If her minimum is okay, but it is all she does too often, you need to communicate that. Another possible discussion would be the minimum is all right, but you would like much more when her life allows.

Maybe you can discuss this together and talk about what you each really need and what you can do with less of when things are difficult. Also, encourage each other to speak up when there is not enough.

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5 comments
Rick
Rick

"Reasonable standards, lofty goals, that’s my aim." "While perfection is the enemy of good, one should always strive to execute with excellence." Couldn't agree more! We've tried to teach our children to do everything with excellence, thier best, as if they were doing it for God Himself. Afterall, isn't that who we are serving in the first place? Wishing you His Peace! Rick

Joe Coleman
Joe Coleman

While perfection is the enemy of good, one should always strive to execute with excellence.

Rick
Rick

Morning Paul, As an accused perfectionist my accusers may be surprised to find that I agree with yesterday's and today's post. My "perfectionist" streak comes from the simple premise that we are to continually strive to be like Christ, who is perfection in human form. Will we be perfect in this life? Of course not. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't be running the race to win. As I am fond of saying, “If we ain’t be growin’ we be dyin.’” We always have room for improvement and growth and we should always be making strides in both directions. But that doesn't mean that we should do nothing, enjoy nothing and celebrate nothing until we are perfect. Instead we can be content in our efforts regardless of their level of "Perfection." For example, remember when a young child showed you their first effort at art? They reveled in their accomplishment, thrilled at the product they made, and yet they were just as excited to make you a newer, better one. Their sense of accomplishment in the earlier effort was not diminished; they had no regrets at showing it to you as it was with all it's faults & flaws. They had pure unmitigated joy in what they made and knew how much more joy they would have in bringing you a new and improved model. Children find joy in their present unpolished state and in the next step of growth! Indeed isn’t that how we should be? Shouldn't we be like the little children? "God's gift to us is life. What we make of it is Our gift to God." When we look towards Him as the source of our joy and value, when we realize where our value comes from, then we have the impetus for growth that can lead us to finding ways of improvement and ways we can please Him more or better next time. In the meantime, we should be like the child, "Look at this! Wait, Look it this one, it is better! OH! How about this one now?!?" “Aren’t they ALL beautiful!?” Our best efforts, at this moment, is almost always enough! What we should be asking is, "Are these my best efforts?" As adults it is too easy to fall into the trap of complacency. None of us are immune to the diseases of laziness & sloth which are the children of complacency. Indeed most all of us are hardwired in that direction and it is something to be on guard against! God is supposed to get our first, and best, fruits of each harvest. Therefore we must continually strive to put our best effort forward, doing the best that we can given the circumstances we have. We owe this not only to God but to our Wives, Children, employers, neighbors & friends. When we rediscover the joy of the little artist and shed the intellectual dishonesty of complacency that is when we begin to find that balance you alluded to. That is when we can be content with “good enough.” That is when we begin to more fully bless our Wives, children neighbors and especially, God. More to the point that is when we begin to grow, living our lives in a much more effective way of glorifying God because it reflects His changing power in us.

kevin
kevin

I totally agree with yesterday's post. I love the "beta and launch" concept. Always fluid and improving instead of thinking about reaching a level of achievement. You help me be a better student of my wife.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

Rick - I think you have the balance where it should be. It's easy to discourage people (and ourself) with standards that are too high. High goals on the other hand, can help us reach higher. Reasonable standards, lofty goals, that's my aim.

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