Michael and I are unified on the big things in life like faith and family, but when it comes to the small things like food choices, hobbies, and bedtimes we tend to differ. I’d love to say that we go to bed at the same time every night. But the fact is that he loves going to bed early and I love going to bed late.
He’ll be tucked into bed at 9:00 pm, even during those summer months when the sun is up until 10, whereas I enjoy walks in the moonlight and gazing at stars until the wee hours of the morning. Michael gets up at 5 am, and on weekends he might sleep until 6. That’s his favourite time of the day. If it’s nice out he might take a 10 mile hike down a dirt road. Yesterday he took two. Seriously–who walks 20 miles in one day? Not me. Unless there’s a great sale at the mall–then I’ll walk until they close the place down.
When Michael shops, it’s like a hit-and-run accident. Once he cashes out, he flees the scene and doesn’t look back. I look back again and again while he tugs on my arm.
I think that’s what attracted me to Michael in the first place–the fact that he was different from me. In those areas of my life where I lacked, I admired his strength. When I sunk, he would soar. I needed that balance, and he needed mine too.
God didn’t bring us together by chance, He created us with the foreknowledge that the two of us would be one.
Marriage is a life-long process of understanding your differences and offering grace as you learn to embrace them.
Let’s looks at four ways to do that:
1. Let go of expectations. God has a bigger plan for your husband than you could ever imagine. He was created with intent and purpose. The man that you think he should be might not be the same man who he was created to be.
2. Celebrate your differences. You can celebrate your differences by being thankful for his strengths. Count your blessings, give thanks to God, and encourage your husband with well seasoned words.
3. Understand that differences and disagreements are two different things. If you disagree on things, strive for unity by praying together and coming to unified decisions. In many cases it’s okay to simply have a difference of opinion, but if it’s something that affects the family unit communicate your thoughts in love and work toward a Christ-centered resolution.
4. Allow him to dream. One of the best gifts that my husband has brought to our marriage is support. When I wanted to be a home decorator he offered our home as my canvas. When I was a quilting maniac, he bought me a new sewing machine for Christmas and spent countless hours in the ball pit with our children while I shopped for cotton. More recently, he took down our dining room table and moved in a desk so I’d have my own corner of the world to write books. I’m sure there have been days when my passions and dreams would have appeared silly to some, but he’s been right behind me, encouraging me every step of the way.
You are loved by an almighty God,