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Marriage and Family

The Standard of Measure

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06/01/2012 - Recently, the latest round of high school seniors has graduated. This is a big deal. Many years of stress, hard work, studying and a fair share of drama have finally resulted in a diploma. The diploma is not only the result of the commitment to push through the obstacles and difficulties of high school, but is also the signifier of a new chapter in life. For those of you who either attended a graduation ceremony or were part of the ceremony, imagine if the people responsible for measuring each student for their gown used no standard. What would the ceremony have looked like if no one used a tape measure, but just guessed based off their own judgment? To make this even more bizarre, let's pretend that each person doing the measuring didn't agree that a foot equaled twelve inches. One person might have felt that a foot should actually only be five inches, while another felt a foot should actually be about seventeen inches. Some of the seniors walking across the stage would be holding up their gown so as not to trip on it, while others would look as if they were wearing a mini skirt.

Over the last few articles, we have been discussing how to know if you are in a healthy situation or not. If we can't use our feelings to know if we are in a healthy circumstance, then the question remains as to what we can use as our barometer. The last article talked about getting an outside perspective through wise counsel. Any situation, and any counsel, will be looked at through a lens of what you already believe. We rarely see the lens, but only the object we look at through the lens. I have been reading a book by A.W. Tozer in which he talked about the eye and its ability to see everything, with exception to itself. While the scenario described in the opening paragraph may seem ridiculous, we are all guilty of a similar, bizarre, way of thinking. We tend to draw our sense of morals and ethics based off of what we feel and perceive at any given moment without having a standard with which to measure.

I know I am treading upon controversial ground with this concept, but having a standard gives you something reliable in which to hold your current circumstance up against. We tend to be a people who do not stand up well in the face of adversity. Here is the controversial part; we need to have a sense of morals and ethics, which we do not define ourselves, but by a standard, of which we can use as a lens to view our circumstances through.

If you are trying to gauge if you are in a healthy, or toxic, circumstance you must first determine where you stand morally with the issue and the reasons why. Is it because of how we feel in the moment or do we have a standard with which we believe in? I previously used the analogy of being in a pool of water, and how cold water, after dropping our body temperature, can feel warm. Part of the concept in this analogy is that adversity and pain (discomfort) do not mean the water is cold, in fact, it could mean it's warm. Ever get into a hot tub immediately after getting out of a cold pool? If our nation's founding fathers did not endure adversity we would be a British run country. How would things be different if Rosa Parks moved seats on the bus or if Martin Luther King, Jr. bowed to the pressures of adversity? If you are in a difficult marriage but believe that a marriage should be fought for, then give it everything you have. If someone you are close to is involved in something very dangerous, then make your stand, even if it means they may hate you. Let's be sure of what we believe in, and fight for what is right.

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