A brief word on when to be normal and when to not.
In nursing school and now in nurse practitioner school, it is emphasized to us, the eager and teachable students, that we must know the normal to identify the abnormal. We need to know what a normal sinus rhythm sounds like in a typical heart to identify the murmurs, the irregular beat, the extra sounds. I need to know the ranges of electrolytes to know that a potassium level of 1.0 is probably a pretty bad thing and I should look at a whole bunch of healthy ears so that a bulging membrane looks different from all the rest. We gotta know the norms to know the abnorms otherwise we could catch ourselves looking at a very sick patient with crazy blood tests, nodding and saying “Mmm hmm…looks good.”
In marriage, I have decided that I need to know the norms so that I can be anything but normal. Roger and I have received a veritable plethora of wise wedding words, kind counsel, and sometimes simply been on the confused receiving end of a knowing married nod in our direction. The last one is a move that seems to say either “Get ready, this is awesome” or “You think this is going to be awesome? I know better.” We haven’t quite figured out which one so we just nod back in engaged bliss. Amid all the suggestions and comments, we most appreciate the words that include a knowledge of God’s sovereignty and the uniqueness of each couple.
We know that there are struggles that all men and all women deal with but we are also determined to meet these struggles with our unique gifts and personalities. We are determined not to agree with the statement that “Women are just like that” and “Boys will be boys” when it is applied to a weakness that we want to improve. If it is referring to the way that women cry at inopportune times such as every day last week or the way that men enjoy shooting small to large rodents in the Kona area, then we agree. Otherwise, we are determined to be abnormal.
Adam and Eve and their official punishments, along with males and females throughout history show us that there are similarities in men across the board and there are shared tendencies in women in general. But the rest of Scripture also points to our unique standing before God and the consistent call that we have to rise up, go forward, conquer, overcome. We are called to bravely do what is difficult. We are called to vanquish the normal.
So, know your norms…and then attack them. Push through them. We are called to abnormalcy and it is possible. And I see that nod. And I am nodding back in engaged bliss.