I’m an optimist, my husband is a pessimist. I’m too far one way and he’s too far the other – at times we balance each other out, yet at other times one of us can overwhelm the other. I love vintage, pre loved, recycled and don’t mind paying extra for something I love, whilst he prefers a very modern style and preferably new. Our music choices are different and whereas I enjoy eating pretty much anything he is very particular about what he wants to eat.
I love colour and he’s more of a mission brown guy. I can sit in a café and enjoy the experience for hours, but once his coffee and cake are eaten he’s ready to leave. And I could go on, but you get my point…
I suppose if you’ve been reading my blog for a number of years you may have drawn a picture in your mind of the relationship we two share and believe my beloved and I are of similar nature, have similar likes and dislikes and always agree. But that’s not the case.
From before our wedding we were challenged by God to walk in love with each other, to support and pray for each other, to put our spouse’s needs before our own, to surrender our battle line – and honestly, my husband was better than I at that for a while, but as the years rolled by those self-sacrificing choices and emotions and responses became part of our nature, ingrained and quite normal in this marriage of two very different people.
Yet within our differences are some rather wonderful similarities that the Lord used to bring us together. They silenced the warnings from many family and fellow Christians who predicted our marriage would never last because we understood each other better than they did, and we knew God was using the similarities to knit our hearts closer.
As infants we both lost our mothers, both had a negligible relationship with our fathers and both of us were raised by paternal grandparents. I am an only child and he was raised as an only child. Neither of us found making friends easy (to this day) and we both need a lot of alone time with our own thoughts and space to just be. Both of us love older people because we grew up with them and funnily enough we have many times rented a home next door to a widow whom we were able to help.
These similarities have worked as glue to bind us together, but the strongest glue we share is our love for Jesus.
I adore my man and he feels the same way about me. When he looks at me I see nothing but love and respect and honour in his eyes, and he sees this in my eyes for him. The closer we have walked with Christ, the longer we walk in His ways and accept correction and direction from His Word, the deeper our love grows and the more able we are to allow the other spouse to ‘be’ who God made them to be and not try to mold them into our own likeness. Sure it would be easy if our personalities were the same, but how would God grow us in those attitudes of love written in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8?
I can’t tell you that I’m always kind or understanding with my man, but I can say I try every day to choose God’s heart over my own and when it’s difficult I have learned to shut my mouth and pray for a better attitude, Holy Spirit understanding and personal humility. And you know what, God always comes through. When I let go of me and put on Christ then within a little while my heart response is moved to love this man I married more than I love my view of a situation. Surrendering self truly is a daily grace God offers us, and the reward is peace that surpasses all understanding.
I will never expect our relationship to be smooth sailing all the time, but with Jesus working in us we know the coming storms shall hear His voice calling, “Be still”, and it shall be so. That’s the assurance we hold to. That's the God we love and serve every day...
Bless you heaps,