Listen in as I share my father-in-law’s profound little saying that is deeply biblical and may transform your marriage.
She’s Not Perfect But She’s Perfect for Me
My father-in-law has a profound little saying that sums up a biblical attitude spouses should have toward one another. His saying?
She’s not perfect, but she’s perfect for me.
Let’s examine the two parts.
She’s not perfect. By making this statement, a spouse reminds himself that he married another sinner. Too many partners are biting and devouring each other because they demand perfection.
Many a wife has said, “I would have the perfect marriage if I had a more spiritual husband.” And many husbands are saying, “Why can’t my wife be more like this other woman?” We spiritualize the discontentment by telling ourselves we are just trying to help them become more godly.
In these unspoken and spoken thoughts there is an unwillingness to accept the other person. We cannot see the log in our own eye, but we can see clearly the speck in our spouse’s eye. We say to ourselves, “God has put me into his life to improve him.” So we judge and nag and grumble and complain.
But in this process we miss seeing our own faults. And we miss out on God’s desire to work out in us certain qualities of forbearance, perseverance, humility, and acceptance. Forbearance is the quality of bearing with another’s sin when there will be no change. It is a fruit of the gospel often translated as endurance or longsuffering. God commands us to forbear with one another (Ephesians 4:2), especially our closest other.
In this process we also miss out on the quality of accepting one another. We are to accept one another as Christ as accepted us in mercy, overlooking our sin. As we actively receive our spouse, faults and all, it reminds us of how Christ is regularly, mercifully, receiving us even now.
You are not perfect. Neither is she.
Now let’s look at the second part of that statement.
She’s not perfect, but she’s perfect for me. The second phrase is even more biblically foundational. A husband must affirm by faith that his wife is perfect for him. And a wife must believe that, even with all his faults, her husband is perfect for her.
In the creation account before sin, God pronounces everything good—except one thing. It is not good for man to be alone. So God fashions a creature like him but unlike him—a woman. His purpose? To make a helper suitable to him. A helper that completes him. If Adam, before sin, needs a helper, then how much more do I need one? But sin has so blinded us that we don’t see our need for help.
Like Adam, a man must be able to look at his wife and say, “In the grand mystery of God, he has provided this person to help me in ways I cannot even see. So Lord, I receive this good gift by faith even though I sometimes don’t think I need it.” A wife must be able to look at her husband and say, “In the grand mystery of God, he has provided this person to help me in ways I cannot even see. Lord, I receive him as a gift by faith.”
The doctrine of providence helps me even in the suffering that inevitably comes in marriage. If my wife is quarrelsome or difficult, then I can embrace this suffering as from God. If my husband is overbearing or passive, then I embrace this circumstance as part of God’s plan to shape me. In divine sovereignty, God has provided this person to complete my sanctification in ways I cannot even imagine.
He’s not perfect, but he’s perfect for me. She’s not perfect, but she’s perfect for me.
Do you believe it?