I am a bit of a perfectionist.
Okay, that's putting it mildly.
I'm also really critical of myself and others, which combined with the perfectionism can get pretty messy.
Did I mention I'm also a clean freak who has a lazy streak and is stressed in a cluttered living space?
Yeah, not a good combination.
Being married, working, college students, we have time to get the house messy but not really time to get it clean, except for afternoons and evenings when we're usually both home. And when we're home at the same time, cleaning is usually the last thing I want to do. (It can be theraputic, however, because I'm relaxed when my house is in order!)
This past Friday we got home from school and I was going on about needing to get the living room picked up, dishes done, supper made, etc, etc. I was lying on the couch, not wanting to get up and do anything, and I fell asleep. Joshua brought a blanket and I napped for an hour. When I woke up life seemed a lot better even though nothing had really gotten done. But that was okay.
Joshua is my reality check. He reminds me that sometimes it's a good thing to sit and do nothing. That it's okay when our house isn't picture-perfect (which it rarely is). That there are things that matter a lot more than having a clean kitchen. That it's just fine to not be perfect.
He doesn't expect perfection of me.
Now, that doesn't mean he does not have high expectations for me. We each expect a lot of each other, and sometimes that causes frustration when we fail to live up to those expectations.
God does expect perfection of us. "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect," Jesus said (Matthew 5:48). He also knows that because we're sinful people, we can't be perfect. That's why he sent Jesus to pay the price for our imperfection, and put on us his own perfect-ness. When God looks at us now, he sees not our failures but Christ's perfect obedience.
And God forgives us. Constantly. For everything. He gives us a new start every day, making us always right with him when we repent of our sin.
So I can live freely in my imperfection, not being lazy or disobedient, but knowing that Joshua loves me anyway, and God loves me no matter what. He doesn't really care if I have a messy house, and neither does my husband. The state of my kitchen or bathroom doesn't have much of an impact on eternity. The time I spent serving and loving my husband, those people God puts in our lives, and God himself, are far more important.
That's a truth I can live with.