The Key to Overcoming Your Differences

"Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ?

Any comfort from his love?

Any fellowship together in the Spirit?

Are your hearts tender and compassionate?

Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another,and working together with one mind and purpose."

Philippians 2:1-2

The big questions is: How do you and your spouse handle differences?

  • My wife is a morning person and I am a night owl.

  • He moves at a slow pace and I am built for speed.

  • One of us is a saver and the other spends more than we make.

  • You get the idea.

If you are like most couples you probable try one of two things:

You either sweep your differences under the rug by ignoring them and are mad at each other most of the time.

OR

You try to make your partner become more like you. How is that working for you?

Unfortunately, neither of those works very well. It's kinda like trying to teach a pig to sing...doesn't work and it irritates the pig.

For another thing, it is only a matter of time before repressed differences reemerge, and second, we miss out on a tremendous gift of marriage when we do not enjoy our partner's uniqueness.

Remember that most women marry a man thinking she will change him and he doesn't, and most men marry a woman thinking she won't change and she does.

If you both happen to be clones of each other, you will never know the beautiful harmony that can be sung by people who recognize and exult in their differences.

My gorgeous bride is a stickler for order. I call it the pickin' up & puttin' up disease. I, on the other hand, am never more than 6 inches away from anything...just got to find the right stack.

It took us awhile to get on the same page in the book on lots of stuff. It was in the throes and sometimes the heat of learning each others strengths and desires that we crafted our ability to serve each other and to appreciate the differences.

We continue to shape our personality all our life.

--Albert Camus

That's right, enjoy the differences!

Every person is unique (see Psalm 139:14). One of my friends tags his emails with this line:

Remember that you are unique...just like everybody else. God never intended couples to approach life as if they were twins separated at birth. He made us with unique strengths and weaknesses.

He gave each of us special gifts.

The difference in temperament that allows your husband or wife to deal with situations that would drive you crazy is something to be thankful for.

Some of his or her traits make living together tough at times, but appreciating the positive side of your differences is sure way to make your marriage more balanced and complete.

Reflect

What trait, different from your own, can you focus on appreciating in your spouse this week?

Here's mine: My Gorgeous Redhead always makes me look smart in how she clothes us both. Without that, I'd be wearing worn out sweatshirts and cutoffs most of the time. I'm so lucky.


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