By Dennis and Thammie Sy
Do perfect marriages exist? How can we be successful at it?
Dennis: In preparation for our marriage, we attended a seminar where one of the speakers boldly told the crowd, “In our 20+ years of marriage, my wife and I never fought.” He then went on to build his wife and his marriage up, and told us what to do and what not to do so we too, could have a perfect marriage. Frankly, instead of being encouraged, this statement somehow made us feel like the speaker wasn’t really painting for us an accurate picture of marriage. I am sure everything he said was intended to encourage us to aspire for better marriages. I admired his intention to inspire. However, our friends and I left that seminar feeling pressured to perform. We left the seminar with so many questions:
I need to be _______ for my marriage to work.
I need to do _______ for my marriage to be great.
If only my spouse was ______, then our marriage would be perfect.
I am sure it wasn’t that hard to fill in those blanks.
We all wish for our marriages to be perfect—or at least, almost perfect. Even though we know this is impossible, there is still a clamor for marriage “experts” who could show us how to do it right.
So for our first lesson, repeat after me: There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. This is impossible to attain because marriage is between two imperfect people.
Thammie: Given that this is our first article as a couple, we want to be upfront with you. We are by no means experts in marriage. And it is with this awareness that we made sure to surround ourselves with people who can mentor us and help us in our journey as a married couple. Because we have seen the difference that having mentors and a supportive community has made in our marriage, we wish to pay it forward by mentoring others as well. We are certainly no experts, but there are quite a few things we have learned and we continue to learn from our own mistakes, and from the experiences of those who have gone before us.
But just because marriages are not perfect does not mean that we can’t have thriving marriages. To thrive means to grow, to improve, to succeed. This is something we can all aspire to have. This is something we can all work towards.
About the author: Dennis is a the senior pastor of Victory Greenhills and is a best-selling author of three books. Thammie is a homeschooling mom and a certified childbirth educator and labor coach. They have been married for thirteen years and have four kids.