Sometimes “ideal” gets in the way.

For years when I’ve heard people reference “ideal images of a family” – the show “Leave it to Beaver” came up. This was a television show in the late 50s and early 60s that showed the antics of little “Beaver,” the give and take (and teasing) between he and his elder brother Wally, and June and Ward Cleaver who acted out of wisdom and very clear boundaries as parents.

Or actually, that is what I found with a little research done on the tv show.

I’ve never seen it – not even a few minutes. Yet, when I think of “ideal” families and relationships it pops into my mind.

Perhaps that is part of our problem sometimes when we find we are struggling in our relationships.

We have “ideal” images of what our relationships should be. And far too often things that are not real influence those images. We observe other relationships around us and conclude theirs are infinitely better than ours. They “never” struggle. They don’t have issues/problems like we do, thus our relationship certainly must be subpar, right?


A wise man told me once, “If you pick the roof up off any house and peer in from above when no one knows you are looking you will see that things are never as perfect as you think they are.”

That certainly put it all in perspective.

The bottom line is relationships are hard. Life is real and full of great celebratory moments, moments of love, joy, happiness, and hope . . . and also life is hard! Relationships are hard. And it all requires work!

What if as we seek real (not ideal) closeness with one another we try a few of these ideas:

  • Hold on to our own sense of self
  • Let go of our fears
  • Learn to manage conflict in fair ways
  • Be open and ask questions
  • Be clear about our expectations
  • Don’t compare ourselves to others
  • Don’t get distracted by other things and people
  • Don’t take things for granted
  • Learn to compromise

What of these things can we focus on so that we work on having real relationships?

Ephesians 4:2 – 3

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”