In my bookshelf, I have a very beautiful edition of a classic book. It is hardback, with a blue and gold mosaic design on the front. The inside looks just as pretty – a clean font, great white space, and little blue designs on each page.
But the stories in them? They’re gross. They’re gruesome. Nothing in me really wants to read this book, but there’s something about its pretty cover and clean pages that keeps me from ridding myself of it completely.
How often do we hold onto things because they meets useless requirements? Think about my book: is it really important to have a pretty cover and a nice font when the core of it is so unappealing?
We do this with relationships too. We hold onto the person who has an awesome job, or who has a great body, or who has a great group of friends, but who doesn’t have the makings of a reliable spouse. We end up building our relationships on incredibly weak foundations, and our lives and marriages fall through the cracks.
I also believe we can be guilty of holding onto past relationships for the same reasons. We can refuse to move on because the person we remember was highly skilled, fun to be around, or overwhelmingly romantic, but the we fail to remember that they were disloyal, disrespectful, or self-serving.
Are you overlooking the core of a past or present relationship due to its fulfillment of worthless requirements?
Take a look at your relationships – past and present. List why you find (or found) yourself attracted to this person, then identify whether or not this is actually important to the foundation of a marital relationship. Here are a few quick examples of what is important and what isn’t:
A heart for Christ
A loyal personality
Respect for others
A sense of responsibility
A great job
An awesome hobby
A great group of friends
A large bank account
In being honest with myself, I can say that I have no real reason to keep the pretty blue and gold book sitting in my bookshelf. And if some of us were honest with ourselves, we would admit that the romantic relationships we once had or the ones we are pursuing now are simply pretty things that really profit us nothing. They simply meet a bunch of useless requirements that cheats us out of the solid, deep relationship that belongs in a life-long commitment.