A while back one of my Christian friends told me that he was having a crisis of faith, he was having doubts about his Christian beliefs. I have been there myself, more than once. Yet I always come out on the other side more faithful than I was before, I wondered why that happens. As I was pondering, I came to the realization that the same thing happens to me in many areas of life. When I got married, I had a picture of what my marriage was going to look like. My ideas were based on what I had seen on television, in the movies, and from the marriages that I had seen that looked perfect from the outside. Then money disagreements, opposing views on toilet seat positions, and conflicting amorous desires introduced themselves into the picture. It did not take long to realize that none of what I had pictured was a reality. Then when I had children, I was going to be the perfect Dad. I had watched The Brady Bunch, and Andy Griffith, and Leave it to Beaver, so I had a great picture of what child rearing looked like. But my selfishness, fatigue from lack of sleep, and worry about everything took over and shattered my perfect little picture of how great my parenting abilities would be. And my faith, I grew up in a church where people wore their Sunday best, we all smiled, had cookies after the services, we were nice and totally put together. We joyfully served Jesus and loved our dear Christian brothers and sisters with all our hearts……for one day a week. But when God revealed Jesus to me, I realized that the one day a week thing was hypocrisy, the other six days were why we needed a Savior. This trusting in Jesus thing is a 24/7 venture. Christianity as I knew it, was a sham.
So in my marriage, Mrs. Fat Man and I just stuck with it. We had to learn to compromise, and ignore, and forgive……A LOT. My children had to witness anger, feel insecurities, and be scared at times. And I had to suffer multiple crisis of faith on multiple levels. Because everything is just an ideal idea until we experience it. And when we experience it, our ideal ideas get tested, and all the bullshit starts to get peeled away. And what is left is real. So after twenty seven years of marriage, I am glad to have a wonderful friend, who still gets nasty about the toilet seat being left up. And I’m happy to have adult children who still love me in spite of the fact that I am still a grumpy old fart. And I have a Savior, who died for me even though I fail to love Him and love my neighbor as I should. I am really really blessed, because God and my family never abandoned me. They just stuck around as each layer of bullshit came off, and I imagine there is more layers to come. But I will hopefully emerge from them a better husband, Dad, and receiver of Gods grace. To be in a crisis of this sort is a hard spot, but it is a good place to be. If you embrace it and let it do it’s work, you will be better in the long run. Besides that, nobody really appreciates your bullshit anyway!