I have to start this post by saying that I wrote this a few months ago and have hesitated to publish it. I hesitate because I still have days when I fail to remember the things that I will be talking about. With the Lord’s help I am continuing to grow 🙂
Two months ago my husband and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary. I love Chris more now than ever before. While I still feel like I know so little of marriage, there are a few things that I am beginning to realize. I am amazed and so thankful for what God has given us in marriage.
We live in a day when marriages often don’t last. I have heard so many say that they couldn’t stay married because they were just too different.
I’ve known for quite a while that my husband and I are very different. This was the cause for most of the arguments early on in our marriage. I am sentimental and affectionate. He is quiet and generous. I deal with problems with panic and tears. He deals with them calmly and logically. He is a born leader and I am a follower. He needs quiet time and I crave conversation. So many times I would be so upset with him. I would accuse him of not caring and never talking to me. He would be so hurt by these accusations. He would be hurt that I didn’t even notice how he went out of the way to bring me my favorite candy, but was upset that his greeting was not long enough. He would be hurt that I demanded he sit and talk to me, but never thought that maybe he needed a few minutes to unwind after a Long day of work.
When we started out in the ministry I convinced myself that as a missionary wife I would need to become more like my husband. I thought in order to be the help he needed that I would have to be someone else. I would need to be strong and logical and right in the middle of whatever was going on. Without ever asking him I believed that this was what my husband wanted from me. This left me frustrated and sad.
I used to get upset and think that God has made me who I am and my husband shouldn’t want me to change. Yet I would be desperately trying to change him to be like me. I wanted him to express love the way I did, I wanted him to get emotional when I did, I wanted him to be just as mushy and talkative as I was.
Then it hit me. If I believe that God created me the way he did for a purpose, then maybe God created Chris the way he is for a purpose too. Maybe by trying to change him I was preventing him from what God had in store for him.
I am beginning to see that my husband does not need or want a clone of himself. He needs someone opposite and that is what I need too. The areas I am weak in are most often the areas he is strong and vice versa. The differences that we have are what make us work so well together.
I have met many experienced pastor and missionary wives while on deputation. Many of them married for twenty or more years. The thing that amazes me about them is that they are all so different and play very different roles in their husbands ministries. Usually they are their husbands opposite yet they work together as one to bring glory to The Lord. I’m sure that all of those ladies would say that it wasn’t always easy. But their differences make them work better together.
The key to appreciating each other’s differences is first finding our fulfillment in Christ. When I allow Christ to meet all of my needs, that takes so much pressure off of my husband and gives us both freedom to just love each other.
Realizing this fact has helped me to love my husband so much more than ever before. I am amazed by the way that God has made him and never want to resent the differences between us. We see and do things differently, but that isn’t a bad thing. I am so thankful that I have him to make up for the areas where I am so weak and I will strive to be his helper in this life as we seek to serve the Lord.