Racer and I are different. Don’t get me wrong, our core values are the same – faith, family, community. But we are very different in the ways we approach life. I sometimes wonder if we weren’t married, if people would ever put us together. Let me explain.
Racer it a night owl. I’m more of a morning person.
I like coffee. Racer can’t stand it.
Racer is always late. I’m generally early.
I’m a planner. Racer is more spur of the moment.
Racer is a saver. I am a spender.
I am a nerd. Racer is a free spirit.
Racer is a walk away in conflict guy. I’m a chase down conflict and talk ’till it’s dead gal.
Get the picture? We have opposite opinions on a variety of societal issues. We have opposite Love Languages (his top language is my bottom and vice versa). We even eat our food in opposite ways (totally separated vs. mixed all together casserole style).
But we need our differences. And so do you.
Think about the ways you and your spouse are different. Or, if you aren’t married yet, how are you and your dating partner different? Or, if you are single, what are your qualities that someone could be opposite in?
We need those differences in our life. Yes, core values should be the same. Yes, basic ways of understanding life should have some similarities. But how you go about it? It’s okay to be different.
You see, it is our differences that keep us grounded. I need Racer’s free spirit to pull my nerdy self into some sense of adventure. Racer needs my desire to address conflict to help him face hard things. I need Racer’s saving self to reign in my spending nature so we have something for the future. Racer needs my planning self to help him think further ahead than today. Even in our political debates, we need each other to pull ourselves out of a one-way mindset and consider the value to the other side.
We need our differences.
And so do you.
So think about all those ways that you and your spouse are different, those “opposites” that annoy you. What if you celebrated the value they bring into your marriage? Instead of seeing his/her difference as something to change, see the difference as something that brings balance to your marriage.
Because it is in bringing together that which is different that new life comes. If we want our marriages to grow, we must embrace that part of our partner that is different from us and allow those differences to bring value and growth.
So, here’s your Monday Marriage Challenge: Today, thank your spouse for a quality that s/he has that is different from you. Thank him/her for the ways that her/his difference brings balance to your personality!