Sometime ago, in a movie, I got this paraphrased quote, “In most cases, especially in relationships, you will only get 80% of what you NEED and you will hardly get the other 20% that you WANT in your relationship.
There is always another person (man or woman) that you will meet that will offer you the other 20% which is lacking in your relationship that you WANT and believe me, 20% looks really good when you are not getting it at all in your current relationship.”
The problem with temptation is that you will be tempted to leave that good 80% that you know you have, thinking that you will get something better with the other 20% that you WANT.
However, reality bites. In most cases, you will end up with having the 20% that you WANT and losing the 80% that you really NEED and that you already had.
Be careful in deciding between what you WANT and what you NEED in your life.
Trouble happens when you start looking for what you don’t have. How many times have you heard similar statements from men you may know, “Wow, this girl in my office is a real looker. But it’s not her Jennifer Lawrence features that got me. I’m crazy about her because she’s also understanding, intelligent, tender – so many things that my spouse is not.”
As we walk this journey called life, we will inevitably find a woman or a man who will be more more charming or sensitive. Perhaps, more alluring? And yes, we reason, more thoughtful. Maybe, richer? And what about that greater sex appeal? And chances are, your mind will start playing trick on you and you are pretty sure you will find a woman or man who will need you and pursue you and go loco over you more than your spouse ever did.
Here is the truth. No wife or husband is perfect. Most likely, a spouse will only have 80% of what you’re looking for. So danger happens or shall I say, adultery takes place when a husband or wife looks for the missing 20%.
Let’s say your wife is gloomy by nature. You may find yourself drawn to the pretty clerk who has a cheery laugh no matter what she says: “I sprained my ankle yesterday, hahahaha . . ..”
Maybe because your wife is a homebody in slippers and pajamas, smelling like vinegar or garlic, you may fall for a fresh-smelling young sales lady that visits your office in a sharp black blazer, high heels, and a red pencil-cut skirt. Or maybe because your husband is the quiet type, your heart may skip a beat when you meet an old college flame that has the makings of a TV talk show host.
But wait! That’s only 20% of what you don’t have.
Don’t throw away the 80% that you already have!
That’s not all. Add to your spouse’s 80% the 100% that represents all the years that you have been with each other. The storms you have weathered together. Your life with your growing children. The fun trips, parties and church activities. The unforgettable moments of sadness and joy as a couple. The many adjustments you have made to love the other. The wealth of memories that you’ve accumulated as lovers. That exceeds 100%!
TROUBLE happens when you start looking for what you don’t have. In marriages, this is called adultery.
But faithfulness happens when you start thanking God for what you already have. I’m not just talking about marriage.
I’m talking about life.
About your jobs.
About your friends.
About your children.
About your commitments to your community of faith and to the one great Father in Heaven we worship.
Are you like the economy airline passenger that perennially peeks through the door of the first class cabin, obsessed with what he’s missing? “They have got more leg room! Oh my, their food is served in porcelain! And their drinks in crystals! Wow, their seats recline at an 80% angle and they’ve got high definition movies!” If this is your attitude in life, you’ll be miserable for the entire journey!
My advice? Don’t live your life like that. Forget about what the world says is first class. Do you know that there are many first class passengers who are miserable in first class — because they are not riding in a private Lear Jet?
If you start appreciating what you have right now, wherever you are, you are first class.