Picture perfect? Or something more?

I’m so used to hearing people say certain things that I don’t even give much thought to what they mean. “Picture perfect” is one such saying.

What do you think of when you hear that? My first thought, until recently my only thought, was that something looked like it was right out of a picture, and I’m not talking snapshot here, I’m talking something from Better Homes and Gardens or GQ or Bride … you get the idea. If someone’s life was picture perfect, it was everything that could be hoped for.

This morning for some reason I had another thought, though. A photo captures a moment in time, those parts which can be seen.

Picture perfect, in other words, has no depth.

Sure, I would love for someone to look at my family and think we look good, are happy and have it together, but more importantly I would like for someone to know my family and still think that’s pretty true.

We aren’t happy all the time, we don’t always get along and we don’t always look pretty (my wife and daughters seem to be able to, though). We argue. We don’t always watch family-friendly fare. Sometimes we say things we shouldn’t. Sometimes things get thrown. When the dust settles though, there is love. And lots of it.

I’ve got two boys of driving age. They can drive me insane in a heartbeat; so much so that my advice to a friend earlier today was that when his boys (he has 3) reach 16 he should just off them and be done with it — he’ll save money and not pull out what little is left of his hair. Funny thing, though, I love those boys and can’t picture life without them.

Today I watched a video by Francis Chan and he spoke about being in a cave in Gethsemane — the cave where Jesus prayed to God asking that he not have to die on the cross — and how the professor from his seminary could hardly speak because, as a father, he was so overcome with the idea of a father sacrificing his son. The man ended up leaving his students standing there because he couldn’t get past the thought of would he be able to do that with his sons if he was asked. He was certain that, no matter how much he loved God, he would fail. That made me think and I realized I feel the same way about those knuckleheads.

Back to picture perfect. We aren’t perfect. We can’t be; we’re human. We know the One who is perfect, though, and we work hard, as a family, to stay centered on God. We might, from time to time, be picture perfect, but that’s about as close as we’ll get. I’m not anxious to be that way though. I’ll take my family for who they are. The longer I know them the more convinced I am that they are perfect enough for me. And that’s a picture I’m happy to be part of.

What do you think about being picture perfect? Is it skin deep or something more?


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