What is God Calling You to Be?
Recently, I was challenged with the following question: Is God calling me to be “weird” or “normal” in the eyes of others?
I began contemplating how “weird” and “normal” might play out in marriage. Questions filtered through my mind as I pondered who or what determined if a relationship was weird or normal. Where did my own marriage land on the weirdness scale?
I chewed on the weird/normal question for a week or two, especially after I read an article in the Chicago Tribune based on the book, The Normal Bar: The Surprising Secrets of Happy Couples and What They Reveal About Creating a New Normal in Your Relationship. While the book isn’t written from a faith perspective, it did offer suggestions for building more happiness into your marriage, based on a survey of 70,000 respondents. Here are some ideas on creating a “new normal” in a relationship:
- Hold hands more, at home and in public.
- Sleep in the nude.
- Take a vacation together, without the kids.
- Kiss passionately.
- Use terms of endearment (“Hey, wife” or “Hey, husband” is not recommended).
- Look good for your partner.
- Share positive thoughts about your partner with them.
- Make a romantic gesture.
- Add variety.
- Enjoy each other’s company.
I believe my Christian marriage should be extra “weird” in comparison to the world’s standards.
I consider some of these habits common sense — and I’ve been working on them throughout my marriage. But that doesn’t mean they fall into the normal range for every couple. After all, what’s normal for your marriage may not be normal for mine.
But here is the deal. In a Christian marriage, should our normal be the same as society’s normal? I believe my Christian marriage should be extra “weird” in comparison to the world’s standards. Here is the list of “weird behaviors” my husband and I came up with for our marriage:
- We pray together.
- We thank God for our food at mealtimes.
- We attend church weekly.
- We enjoy being part of a weekly group with other couples who study Scripture and do life together, talking about our struggles with work, family, kids, and married life.
- We think about and act upon ways to serve each other. Sometimes that’s inconvenient and uncomfortable, but it’s okay to think about my spouse’s needs more than my own. This includes sex.
- We promise to stay married to each other for life — whether we “feel” like it or not.
- We try our best each day to forgive each other’s weaknesses and look for strengths instead.
- We work on patience, but this requires a “me first” attitude.
- We choose to love when it’s hard and when we do not like each other very much.
- We ask God to protect our marriage every day.
Where does your marriage fall on the weirdness scale? Is it possible to add a little weirdness into your marriage? Just remember, it’s important to leave behind the “we shoulds”:
- We should have a date night every week.
- We should pray together every day.
- We should have special pet names for each other.
- We should have more patience with each other.
I encourage you and your husband to work together on your own normal and weird lists.
I’ve decided I’m perfectly okay with what the world thinks is weird.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve decided I’m perfectly okay with what the world thinks is weird. I don’t feel my marriage needs to conform to what society and others tell me it “should” be. If anything, I feel the closer my marriage exhibits a loving Christ-centered weirdness, the better.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is (Revelation 12:2, NLT).
Copyright © 2016 Sheri Mueller, Growthtrac Ministries