All marriages deal with differences. If we traded in our marriage for another, we would just be trading problems with this guy – for problems with that guy – because the reality is, all marriages have problems to varying degrees.
Sometimes I wonder why God made men and women so incredibly different. And while I understand that our differences should make us complement each other – some days it just feels like a huge hurdle.
My husband and I are very, very different people.
I am an extrovert – the more the merrier is my mentality!
He is an introvert – he is very private.
I love social media and social gatherings fill me up!
My husband does not participate in social media, and social gatherings drain him.
I am a very cautious person when it comes to safety.
My husband loves to shoot guns and ride motorcycles and prefers I be on the back of the motorcycle with him…which is not really my cup of tea!
He even bought me this jacket……let’s just say, I wear it for him and pray the entire ride! I appreciate how he has enhanced my prayer life! Lol!
He has also enhanced my prayer life by taking the kids on very long road trips on the back of his bike.
I like pop music (anything with a beat), Christian and classical piano music (weird mix right? Lol!).
He likes country music and talk radio.
I like Diet Coke.
He drinks Sweet Tea by the gallon.
I prefer new cars – you know with a cup holder and a DVD player.
He loves old classic cars…without cup holders and DVD players.
I love big cities and living in a neighborhood.
He prefers to live on a huge piece of land and not see the neighbors!
I love to sing.
He does not.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg friends. Our temperaments are very different. Our family histories are very different. Our school experiences were very different. Our hobbies are very different.
And while I list all these things and wonder how in the world we ended up vowing our lives to each other –”till death do us part,” I am amazed at how like-minded we are on faith, our view of the world, our morals, values, love for each other and love of family.
I could sit all day and focus on the things that are different between my husband and I and get very frustrated.
Let’s face it – you can’t change a zebra’s stripes. God absolutely changes people from the inside out and I’ve heard testimonies of dramatic changes in marriages where God was at work on sin in their lives…but I don’t foresee my husband’s taste of country music or sweet tea or personality traits, such as loving social gatherings, changing anytime soon.
During different seasons of life, I have tried to get my husband to change. This always brings fights and it’s miserable and he feels disrespected.
Philippians 2:3 -5 says:
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”
This is truth! When we look only toward our own interests, our own selfish ambitions will ruffle feathers in our marriage and stir up trouble. We will create misery and though it may feel unintentional – it is very real and it can put a wedge in our marriage.
So how do we deal with differences in marriage?
1.) Do not be selfish. (verse 3)
2.) Humble yourself and look at your husband as more significant than yourself. (verse 3)
3.) Do not discount your husband’s interests. (verse 4)
4.) Have the mind of Christ. (verse 5)
This my friends, is nothing like how the world would advise us. But this is God’s way. Number 4 is vital to overcoming the selfishness and pride in marriage. We must pursue having the mind of Christ. Christ was humble to the point of death on the cross for us.
Have you humbled yourself and considered laying aside your own interests for the sake of your husband, for the sake of your marriage and for the sake of Christ?
**Chime In: What differences in your marriage has God brought to mind while you were reading this? Will you selflessly put that issue in the hands of God and trust Him with it?
And one final thought, when we pray that God changes something about our husband – if it is done in selfishness, most likely it will not be answered. One thing I have learned is to pray for these changes for one reason alone – so that our marriage would be more unified and bring more glory to God by the way we love and care for each other.
Next week, we’ll talk more about unity in marriage but until then – let’s pray humble, selfless prayers that focus on God’s will for our marriage rather than our own will.
Walk with the King,
**This post is a part of the…
September 22: Embracing Oneness
September 29: Embracing Your Friendship
This week’s group marriage challenge is:
Embrace Your Differences – Don’t just tell your husband that you love him today. Tell him some of the reasons you love him.
Today my friends pictured above are also writing on
Embracing Your Differences in Your Marriage.
Please visit them!