How Ok Are We?

In the world of on-line sharing, we've been fortunate to come across some great bloggers who have incredible insight into the dynamics of marriage and Christianity. Today, I (Annalea) read a post by Traylor Lovvorn over at Reflections of a Ragamuffin entitled "I'm Not Ok. You're Not Ok. And That's Ok!" which was awesome and which elicited the following response from me. Because I feel it's an important topic, I wanted to post it here. Oh, and definitely visit both of these blogs because they're terrific!

Hey Traylor,

Great post with a lot of truth and a topic that comes on the heels of a conversation I recently had with Michael and a couple who was at our home for dinner last night.

The conversation started with me bringing up a recent post I'd read over at Project M which asked the question - Is Marriage Hard? - which morphed into a discussion of a program that us two couples are familiar with which encourages people to be their authentic self which, in and of itself, isn't a bad thing (no masks, no pretending, etc.); it just leaves big gaps that never get quite filled. My question/response to that, though, was what about when my "authentic self" hurts another person? Do I justify that with, "hey, this is me....authentically." Somehow, I don't think that would work because it's an authenticity that's self-focused when viewed this way.

Which takes me to your 4th quadrant: "I'm not okay. You're not okay." True statements and definitive Gospel which offers true freedom in Christ. It doesn't seem quite enough to recognize our respective non-okness (how's that for a new word?), however, and leave it at that. I would hope that the recognition would follow with change as it doesn't seem enough to recognize the brokenness and do nothing to move through it; to say, "this is just who I am" because there's no condemnation for those who are in Christ therefore others need to receive me just as He does.

I recognize that you haven't stated this in your post; it's just what came up for me while reading it. In our marriage ministry, we occasionally talk with husbands who claim in one breath that God knows their heart and with the next verbally abuse their wife. Yet they hold fast to that belief because, in their mind, it justifies the strength of their faith even though the Word tells that same man (indeed, tells us all) that out of the mouth speaks the heart. Our response to these men is, "you're absolutely right. God does know your heart."

My reality is this: my marriage would never have been restored had Michael continued to look at pornography and go to strip clubs. Do we both recognize that as a part of non-okness? Yes. Though to just recognize it and do nothing to move out of it would have been counter productive and, in my opinion, a poor representation of Christianity.

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