Thursday, August 11, 2011

Appreciating Our Differences

My wife and I are very different. She is an extremely intuitive person. When she talks with our children on the phone, she can sense when something is wrong. When I walk through the door at the end of a busy day, she can sense the kind of day I have had. She always wants to know how I feel about things. On the other hand, I am a cognitive person. I tend to want to deal with facts, not feelings. She asks, “How do you feel about this situation?” I ask, “Why is this situation the way that it is?” Her conversations can grow long, while mine are short and to the point.

An improper understanding might suggest my wife is too sentimental and I lack compassion. Neither would be correct. We are different. We both care deeply about those around us, but we deal with things differently. Early in our marriage these differences caused stress in our relationship. In later years, we have come to understand God’s great wisdom in bringing two distinctly different people together.

Understanding Genesis 2:18 has helped to give us an understanding about why we are really good for each other. The verse reads, “And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.’” The key is an understanding of the phrase “help meet”. This term literally means to supply that which is missing or to complete. It means that God saw what was lacking in man and gave him his wife to complete him. I believe this is a reciprocal arrangement. It is not about power or control but it is about completing one another.

This principle can be illustrated with a lock and a key. A lock without a key is of no use. A key without a lock is of no use. Together, they can provide a needed service. It would be foolish to sit around and to debate which one was more important. The fact is the lock and the key need each other to fulfill their purpose. The same principle applies in the life of a husband and wife.

Understanding this principle has enabled my wife and I to understand our differences shouldn’t be sources of irritation but sources of strength. We complement each other. We help provide balance to each other. We have come to appreciate our differences. We thank God for our differences, because we know together we are at our best. Coming to this understanding has given us forty-three years together.

If you and your spouse are total opposites like my wife and I, remember your differences are God’s blessing to you. God brought you together to complement each other, not to confound each other. Appreciate the differences and let them bring balance to your life and your relationship.

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