Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Ideal

I went to the late $1.50 movies tonight with my parents. This turned out to be a rare treat. How many 31-year-olds go out to a movie at 9:45 pm on a Tuesday night with dear old Mom and Dad? This either makes me lame or very blessed. You decide.
We went to see Clash of the Titans. I love these kinds of movies. I loved the old Clash of the Titans growing up. And I l...iked the new one. No, really, I did like it. Perseus vs. the Kraken. Good stuff.

In adventure movies like this (and in many types of movies, I suppose), you see the story of a hero, the ideal man, and a heroine/damsel-in-distress, the ideal woman. We are drawn to these figures because we all have a desire for the ideal man/woman, and we all desire to be the ideal man/woman. Pretty soon, we realize that we are not, and never will be, this ideal person. Nor will our spouses ever live up to this standard. Our flaws are too obvious, and while we may have some measure of success in hiding them from the world, this is an impossible effort in a marriage.

So what do we do? Some, seeing the flaws in their husband/wife (and too often forgetting their own), seek too easy a solution for this dilemma. If we don't currently have the ideal man/woman, we can find other means to have him/her. We can cheat. And cheating can take many forms. We can sacrifice our faithfulness and seek perfection in another, whether real or virtual. Or we can pressure and force our spouse to fit the mold by whatever means necessary, whether ridicule or plastic surgery.

But it's not real. It's plastic. It's counterfeit. We may as well love a mannequin, perfect body and no soul.

There is only one way to make our spouses more beautiful. Love him. Love her. Love him as he is. Love her as your ideal. When we desire plastic people, it is probably because we have plastic hearts. But it is love that transforms them. And it is our love that elevates our spouses to all that God created them to be. It is faithfully loving a real person for a lifetime that is truly heroic. It is love that makes the ideal man, the ideal woman.

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