No More Perfect Moms – A Book Study – Chapter 5

Have you been following along with us as we study through Jill Savage’s book No More Perfect Moms and learn how to be authentic moms? If not, you’ll find a list of our discussions on earlier chapters here. We’ve already looked at how important it is to stop comparing our insides to others’ outsides. This applies to our children, ourselves, and yes, our marriages.

 No More Perfect Moms Chapter 5 - Apron Strings & other things

No More Perfect Moms – Chapter 5 – No More Perfect Marriages

 In this day and age we get counsel from so many sources – movies, romance novels (even in the Christian genre), Facebook, the blogosphere, Oprah and Dr. Phil, not to mention the bookstores and websites full of self-help books.

How do we really handle things when our husbands do something crazy like put the tp roll on upside down? How about when they squeeze from the middle of the tube of toothpaste? Maybe it’s trivial, but maybe it is a symptom of unreal expectations.

True Story: Over thirty years ago I entered into marriage with certain expectations. I was a city girl marrying a country boy. Every week I made sure he had his big farm-style breakfast with eggs, bacon, toast, the works. One Sunday morning, he stopped in the doorway as we were heading to church services, turned around, looked me square in the eye and said “You don’t have to cook that for me anymore.” It was like a knife into my heart. In my mind I was not the wife and cook his mother was, I thought I couldn’t please him no matter how hard I tried. It wasn’t until 15 years later I learned that it wasn’t my cooking that was the problem. He had never liked big heavy breakfast meals, even when his mother cooked them! My expectations were wrong – for myself and for him. All those years I carried that burden!

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So what happens when two people get married? Let’s do the math: when our daughter married, 1 girl + 1 boy did not equal 2. In this case, 1 girl + 2 parents + 7 siblings + 1 boy + 2 parents + 5 siblings = 18, and then some! Even if the young husband and wife give them plenty of space to build their own lives or even live far away, their influences helped to form who these two people are, and becoming one is a big adjustment and transition. We bring in differences – does that mean we weren’t meant for each other? What it means is we have work to do. Yes – marriage is hard work. That’s normal. Easy is not normal. It’s more than learning to live together, it’s more than finding your knight in shining armor, it’s more than you fulfilling his every dream.

Jill Savage mentions a question posed by Gary Thomas in his book Sacred Marriage

What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?

Happiness is not a result of being perfect, or even being holy or right. Happiness is a bi-product of seeking after holiness. God is in the midst of your marriage. When the going gets tough, and you can’t depend on your spouse, or you feel misunderstood, or you are just plain confused, hold on to God. Seek after Him, He is there and wants to be found. Can I guarantee your marriage will survive the tough things? I can’t do that. I do not know how things will play out. I don’t have those answers. I do know that God has the answers, He knows. The author shares in this chapter from her own personal life story. I encourage you to read her first-hand account of how her divided marriage was reunited, and how seeking holiness brought happiness.

When reading through chapter 5 I began taking a good look at what junk I might be harboring in my heart against my husband. Selfishness? Pride? Am I trying to mother him or manipulate him into fulfilling my own expectations? Do I belittle him in front of others when he doesn’t meet them? This book study has been about taking off the mask, being real and authentic, accepting the role of a ‘no more perfect mom.’ Maybe you are asking “What about abuse? or divorce? pornography?” Remember you are not alone, your struggles are not unique. Draw near to God. Seek out Godly counsel. If you are not receiving the support you need where you are, there are many who’ve started online support groups by people who’ve already been where you are now. If your marriage is truly sick, ask for help.

So, what’s a woman/mom/wife to do? The two of you are so incompatible, he doesn’t appreciate all you do, there’s so much conflict. Change your expectations and don’t make your husband responsible for your happiness. Happiness comes from seeking holiness, not from having a perfect husband.

Apply the antidote. Replace pride with humility. Look up the word ‘pride’ in a concordance or on Biblegateway.com and read about how destructive it is, especially to the marriage relationship. Just imagine the healing that will take place when you replace that destructive attitude with humility.

Replace fear with courage. It is a risky thing to take off our mask and face our fears. Is it fear of rejection? fear of being hurt? fear of criticism? What is keeping you from being authentic and honest in your relationship with your husband? Have courage, face it. It can be so difficult to take this first step, but each time it gets easier, you get stronger.

Replace insecurity with confidence. We all bring baggage into marriage. Hanging on to that baggage breeds insecurity. Acknowledging it, facing it, stripping away the mask that hides it will bring on confidence in who are really are and your true worth.

Replace judgement with grace. The author shares the concept of giving ‘grace space’ to your husband. He’s human, he’ll make mistakes and fall short. Yet, so do you. Just as Christ died for us even while we were sinners, we can bestow grace even when our husbands don’t deserve it.

In chapter 4 we were told to embrace our beautiful, imperfect selves. In chapter 5 we are told to embrace our beautiful, imperfect husbands. Look for what you CAN be thankful for, fight that Perfection Infection with The Antidote. Give up those unreal expectations and be authentic.

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Have you been enjoying the video chats with Misty, Bridget and Mandy? Let’s peek in and see what they discuss with Chapter 5!

 

 

Did you enter into marriage with unrealistic expectations? What advise would YOU give to a couple getting ready to tie the knot?

To find all the posts in this series, click on the image below – it will take you to the full list of links for every chapter.

No More Perfect Moms Book Study sm - Apron Strings & other things

 

 

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