Have you ever heard the saying, “If two people are identical than one of you is unnecessary?” If this is true, then I’m a vital necessity in my marriage. Yet there are times when I think it would be easier if Eddie was more like me. It probably would be easier, but a lot less fun and very little growth.
In our marriages we need to celebrate our differences. I use the word “differences” because that’s what they really are. Sometimes it can be classified as faults, but they’re really differences. Here’s some examples. Bob likes the thermostat cool, while Susan likes it warm. Bob is a republican and Susan is a democrat. Bob is introverted and Susan is extroverted. You get the point. So who’s right? Is it Bob or Susan? Neither, they’re just different.
So often couples complain to each other about their differences. I know this is true in my marriage. Sometimes I get annoyed because Eddie is not as detailed as I am. He does not clean the kitchen the way I would. To him cleaning the kitchen means doing the dishes. To me it means washing and putting away the dishes, wiping down the counter tops, stove, and sweeping the floor. I also make the bed differently. When I make the bed, I fold the top sheet and comforter down, and fluff the pillows. He does not do this. He’ll just pull the sheet and comforter over the pillows. (How dare he cover up all my accent pillows!)
Eddie gets annoyed with my absent mindedness. Weather it’s dropping my cell phone and cracking the screen for the third time, putting my MacBook Air on top of the car and driving off, losing my wallet with my driver’s license and debit card, running into the garage door, or dropping dishes on the floor. It’s hard for him to understand why I’m this way, because he’s pretty aware of his surroundings and is really good at putting things back where they belong. His keys are always hung on the key rack. You’ll always know where to find them. Not my keys. I’m always looking for them and praying for the thousandth time that Jesus will help me find them. Who knows where they could be, your guess is as good as mine. Did I leave them in one of my pant pockets from the day before, are they in the diaper bag, did I leave them in the ignition, or the car door, maybe they’re in the refrigerator? You’re laughing but I’ve done all these things just mentioned. I know, it’s sad.
Is it wrong that Eddie is not as thorough as me when he cleans the house? Is it wrong that I’m absent minded? No, it just means that we’re two different people with different ways of doing things. That being said, it doesn’t mean we get a free pass to act and do whatever we want. We should not use it as a cop out. I know I’m absent minded, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try to be more aware of my surroundings. It’s really the little things that can make a big difference in our marriages. When I borrow Eddie’s keys and put them back where they should be, he LOVES it. When Eddie takes the time to wipe the countertops and fluff the pillows on the couch I LOVE it.
Therefore, I celebrate our differences because it makes us more like each other. I love that Eddie is different from me because he has so many great qualities that I’m learning from. He has rubbed off on me in so many positive ways. I know I have had the same effect on him. In some ways, my character would be different if I didn’t marry Eddie. I would be more selfish, immature, stubborn, and prideful than I am now. I heard a pastor say, “If you want to do more for the Lord you should stay single, but if you want to be more like the Lord then get married.” People who are married really understand this. Sometimes marriage is a constant reminder of our faults and our partner’s faults, but if we’re open to the Holy Spirit, He can change us and make us more like Him.
For me, marriage is about growth. I don’t always enjoy the growth process, but I like the end results. I love looking back and seeing how much I have grown personally, and how much we’ve grown together. It’s fun to see how we have become better people for each other. I’m a much better wife now than I was seven years ago, and Eddie is a far better husband then when we first married. It gives me so much hope for our future.
I hope this has been encouraging to you. I know it’s not always easy being married, but I pray that you will continue to look for growth opportunities in your marriage, that you will work things out, and embrace your differences. And above all, enjoy the ride, because it’s a lot fun if you let it be. If you’re having a difficult time, or would like us to pray for you, you can send me a private email at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply comment below.
I look forward to hearing your responses, and some of the differences you share with your spouse. Until next time…