I have been watching HGTV like a remodel addict this summer. I’ve especially taken a liking to House Hunters. Not unlike the infamous Law and Order there are multiple versions of this show and many fantastic spin-offs: House Hunters International, House Hunters Renovation…well, two. I guess there are two spin-offs. But it fills my DVR up for me like candy for a sugar addict.
I’ve learned a handful of things watching these shows. And somehow, in some convoluted way, I’m going to attempt to relate those things to marriage.
1) People are weird. Some of these house hunters drive me insane because they don’t like things for some of the weirdest reasons. I’m finding myself yelling and shaking my fist at the HGTV like I’m watching the Super Bowl. You’ll see one family who loves the updated kitchen and another who will say, “Eh. Not my style.” Like, what? How are granite countertops and stainless steel appliances not your style? They’re gorgeous! Or this one guy, who might be the only guy on the planet, who did not want an open concept. He needed at least 3 walls around each room so that each space was defined or it made him anxious. Again…weird.
Part of being married is realizing that everyone is weird in some way. Everyone just has their own preferences on things. And some of those preferences are deeply rooted. You just have to figure out what your spouse’s weirdness is and choose to live together in weirdness. Embrace the weirdness. I think Dr. Seuss said something to that effect
2) You’re never going to find the perfect house, just like you’re never going to have the perfect spouse. These couples come in with their “wish lists” of what they want in a house and that’s fine to a degree but they set themselves up for failure. They walk into these homes with their perfect home in mind and if the house they are walking through doesn’t measure up, they aren’t interested. They end up missing out on some important details like: great location, fantastic yard, great layout. All because they are so busy worrying about the paint color not being their favorite in one of the rooms or the basement not being completely finished. As any realtor on House Hunters will tell you location is key. You can always change things in the house but you can’t change location.
Same goes with marriage. Sometimes we walk around with this list, this image of what the perfect spouse might be for us and we miss out on all the great people around us who might be missing a couple things on our wish list, who might have a few imperfections, but all in all are really wonderful people and might make a great match for us. I recently read a wonderful article about the concept of soul mates and how whoever we marry is the person you’re meant to marry. That we can have great, loving, lasting wonderful marriages with any number of people. If we choose to. Each day we can choose to love and honor and cherish the people in our lives. The author of this essay very eloquently made a case for God not having ONE person planned for us and in it she stated that the best relationship advice she ever got was to find someone who loved God, made you laugh and you were attracted to. “The rest is frosting.” Amen, sister. If you can get the walk in pantry and the granite counter tops and the garden tub in the master bedroom en suite…more power to ya. But you’re missing out on great relationships if you’re objective is to only have them with people who meet all of your criteria. In fact I’d venture to guess that if you chose to be in relationship with and love someone who didn’t meet most of your pre-conceived criteria that God could and would use it to grow you as a person. Go ahead, give it a try.
3) Compromise is key. You aren’t going to find a house that has everything on your list so you are going to have to compromise. On your list. And with your partner. You both probably have different ideas on things you want in a house and you both are going to come across homes that speak to both in different ways. In many situations in your relationship, including home buying, you are going to have to decide where you’re willing to concede. Relationship requires sacrifice. You have to decide what you value most.
Same thing, when searching for a house. What do you value more? The perfect layout, or having your backyard back up to a busy highway? Being able to fit all your current furniture in your master bedroom or having an overall house that works for your entire family? Sometimes you are going to have to choose. You aren’t going to get it all. More often than not, couples will say at the end of their house search, “I didn’t end up with [something on their list] but I got all of this other stuff and it was so worth it.”
That’s usually what people find out when creating compromises in their relationships as well. “I didn’t get this thing, but I did get this.” The key is learning how to create a win-win.
Marriage advice and home buying advice in one post? I know. You’re welcome.
Happy house hunting.
Now go create a wonderful marriage with that weird, imperfect, person God gave you to do life with.
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