According to the General Social Survey, which has tracked American moods since 1972, women are becoming less happy. There are several variables, but I think one big reason for less joy and more gloom is a woman’s self-imposed drive to be perfect.
Decades ago, women kept house, reared kids, shopped, cooked, volunteered and had a myriad of other domestic duties. Today, women keep house, rear kids, shop, cook, work full time, run car pools, volunteer and often do all this alone. But instead of women lowering their standards with the increased demands, we’ve raised them. Success isn’t getting it done; success is getting it done perfectly.
We feel the pressure to look perfect, do our work perfectly and have the perfect home and perfect family. Consequently, we tend to beat ourselves up when things aren’t “perfect” in our relationships. We tend to take things more personally at work when things don’t go well, and many of us swallow pills, overeat, get depressed and just plain give up!
So, what’s a girl to do? Give up on perfect.
Don’t give up on responsibilities and having realistic standards. Just give up on perfect. Extend the same mercy to yourself that you give to others. You don’t expect them to be perfect, do you? Of course not. Have reasonable expectations of yourself also.
Let God be perfect. Faith in Christ invites us to renounce perfection because faith lets us receive God’s strength and rest in His opinion of us. God created you. He is perfect, not you!
When you rest in Him and in whom He made you to be, it’s easier to loosen your grip of perfectionism. When you let go of your need to be perfect, you receive far more satisfaction than your striving can offer — you receive the perfect love of God that has never given up on you.
So rest today. Watch God be perfect. You be you and feel His perfect grace carry you. And you will find that you’ve beaten those statistics — you’ll be a much happier woman!
“…Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9b ESV
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