Justin: Last Monday I injured my back and have spent most of the week lying on the couch unable to move. In order to pass the time, I have been watching the show Kitchen Nightmares on Netflix. In the show, world renowned chef Gordon Ramsey visits failing family owned restaurants throughout the country in hopes of turning around the businesses.
In watching the show, it struck me that the failing business is rarely the problem. Rather, the failure of the restaurant is almost always the symptom of personal character flaws within the owners or managers of the restaurant. This character flaw then wreaks havoc on both the business and also the personal relationships within the family.
The show makes for great drama because Gordon, who takes a very in your face approach, even appearing crass at times, always manages to make the owner come face to face with their flaws and leaves behind better families as well as better businesses.
Gordon’s most difficult task is making the owners recognize and accept the need to change in order to improve their restaurant. Watching the show has made me reflect on Jesus’ teaching to first remove the beam from your own eye before removing the speck from your brother’s eye (MT 7:3-5).
Marriage as a vocation is God’s instrument for perfecting me. Often times, it is easy to blame Sara when communication breaks down or there is strife in our relationship. However, when I look back at these occasions of disagreement, I can’t help but notice that some selfishness on my part is always a contributing factor.
The success of our marriage is dependent upon both our abilities to grow in virtue. I once heard a preacher on the radio explain it this way. He said marriage works by multiplication and not by addition. In other words you can’t take a half a person and add another half a person to make a marriage. Rather, notice what happens when you multiply 0.5 x 0.5. That’s right, you end up with 0.25 which is less than you had when you started.
In order for marriage to be a success, both Sara and I must strive to face our own imperfections and correct them. Failure to do so will only lead to our marriage being less than it could be.