We are not perfect for each other, we are growing perfect together.
Though John and I have always had in common that which is most important to us — what C.S. Lewis called the “secret thread” – I think there’s something else that’s helped keep us together for twelve years, and that is that we’ve committed to growing towards each other. Towards each other, not away from each other, and not just side by side.
In Tim Keller’s book “The Meaning of Marriage,” he quotes Stanley Hauerwas:
I think this is very true. I wouldn’t necessarily describe John as a “stranger,” but we’ve both changed in the twelve years we’ve been together (see here for one example). This is inevitable: if you’re with someone for any period of time, they will change. You can either fight this, ignore it, or embrace it. (I happen to think high school sweethearts have a leg up on everyone else, because when you start dating when you’re 17, you KNOW you’re going to change!)
Tim Keller goes on to write:
When you inevitably change, you have the choice of growing toward your partner or away from him. At every juncture, we’ve tried to grow toward each other, though always imperfectly, and it has led to joy and beauty we never would have known had we dug our heels in.
We are not perfect for each other, but we are committed to perfecting each other… and that makes us perfect for each other.
P.S. I just made a new category here on EFM: love + marriage. If you’d like to read more of my musings on our relationship, that’s where you can find them :)