Last night, I fell victim to the Pinterest Trap.
Let me set the scene for you:
I get married in two weeks, and I am right in the throes of wedding planning. It was late, and I had been working furiously for hours. At the moment, I was scouring Pinterest, looking for the perfect, DIY, low-budget, shabby chic, über-creative way to display the seating chart for the reception. I just could not find one, and I was getting frustrated and emotional.
And then I looked at the time. It was 2 am, I had work the next morning, and I was almost in tears over a seating chart. A SEATING CHART!
Since getting engaged in December, I have insisted that I will keep my priorities straight, that I will not let the wedding take over my life, that I will not become a Bridezilla. And I have done a pretty decent job so far.
But last night was a gut-check for me, as I had to confront myself and ask: “Am I really approaching this whole wedding thing right?” I’m not so sure I am.
Social Media and a Cultural Crisis
Like other forms of social media, Pinterest is a great tool when used properly. It is an amazing idea generator, and I would be lost without it.
But it also has a huge shadow side, what I call the “Pinterest Trap”. It sucks us into a fantasy world that leads quickly to coveting and greed. It sets an unattainable (and stressful!) expectation that every detail of our lives must be unique and meaningful and perfect. It espouses a worldview of perfectionism whether in wardrobe choices or house décor or meal prep or workouts or weddings.
But lest I be seen as a Pinterest-basher, make no mistake: Pinterest is not the enemy, but it is symptomatic of a greater cultural crisis, one where image trumps substance.
And when the image we project becomes more important than the substance we contain, we have a serious problem:
We have become a society of perfect weddings and failed marriages.
Some Hard Questions
If you asked me, “What are you doing to prepare for your wedding?”, I would rattle off, “Well, today I booked our hotel and designed the program and finalized the décor plan and ordered flowers and tasted wedding cakes and…”
But if you asked me, “What are you doing to prepare for your marriage?” I would be harder-pressed to come up with an answer.
I am convinced that Christian marriages are successful when two people with a commitment to each other and to God consistently act in ways in alignment to those commitments.
And that leads me to ask myself some hard questions:
Am I pouring into my walk with Christ with the same fervor I put into my seating charts and spreadsheets?
What is more important to me, staying true to my 30-day fat-blast pre-wedding workout plan or spending time with my Savior?
If I am criticizing my fiancé and causing conflict over a small wedding detail that he let fall through the cracks, am I not prioritizing my wedding day over my marriage?
What Do I Want More?
If I had to choose, I would rather have a simple, no-frills, courthouse wedding and 70 years of successful marriage than a Pinterest-perfect wedding and a divorce down the road.
Of course, no one gets married intending divorce, and I am not saying that you cannot have a beautiful wedding AND a successful marriage. What I am saying is this:
You cannot pull off a big, amazing wedding if you do not put months of hard work into it. How much more, then, will a marriage fail if you do not prioritize that hard work of intentionally nurturing your relationship?
Getting My Priorities Straight
I want to be a wife who is more concerned with her character than having that perfect wedding.
I want to be a wife who cultivates habits of intimacy, good conflict management, and communication over tending to her Pinterest boards.
I want to be a wife who sacrifices a morning workout to spend time with her Savior.
I want to be a wife who prioritizes showing love to her husband and practicing hospitality to others, even if it means sacrificing a perfectly clean apartment.
It is time to get my priorities straight.