Embrace Challenge,  Uncategorized

4 Ways to Embrace Differences With Your Spouse

4 Ways to Embrace YourDifferences

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,

Darlene Schacht
www.timewarpwife.com

167 Comments

  • Su

    Thank you for doing this series. Yes! My husband and I are totally different. Please pray for us. Thanks for the giveaway chance. I’m really excited about this coffee package giveaway.

  • Christy Potts

    Great post! My husband and I are opposite in a lot of ways he is a perfectionist in everything and I am certainly not but I try to remember that we were all made in the image of God and to me that is awesome!! What a boring world it would be if we were all the same. God knew what he was doing when he created all those different genes!

  • Leslie M

    In my house it’s ME who is the early to bed, early to rise – but we’ve learned to each compromise some of the time on that and often go to bed together now.

  • Tatiana

    I hope this post finds you at the beginning of a beautiful and productive week.Thank you so much for sharing the beauty we can find within each others differences. Its amazing how we can agree on the big things such as values and traditions, but when it comes to the small things, you wonder how in the world do we agree on the major things. ‘Small differences’ is a major struggle between my husband and I. We’ll be married for one year next month so we have a lot to learn from one another. I am so much like you too, whereas I’m a night owl and my husband needs 8 hours of sleep. Sharing your differences within your marriage means that world to me, thank you so much!

  • KLMac

    Thank you for the these gentle reminders. The biggest thing for my husband and I is point 3, understand that differences and disagreements are two different things. We often fight over something and realize we were only disagreeing over how differently we said something. Chances are, we were both right. This is a good reminder coming off of a whole weekend of this. Thank you!!

  • Daqrcy

    I embrace the difference in myself and my spouse because I can’t imagine if her were just like me. We are meant to compliment one another. I thank the Lord for our differences.

  • Eva Head

    My husband’s love language is words and sometimes I fumble for them. So this is a great reminder to pour my heart out to him and tell him the why behind my love. My husband and I are so opposite that literally when I am cold he is hot and vice-versa.. The extremes go pretty much to every situation except God and family.. I am thankful for your reminder to embrace the differences.

  • Vickibeth O'Brien

    My husband and I started a marriage series at church yesterday on “Oneness in Marriage.” We are so different in some areas and we are looking forward to becoming closer and more “one” in the coming weeks as we learn to embrace our differences! 🙂

  • gillie

    Thanks for the reading..reminds me of my husband and I …I stay up late also and we r different..I sometimes wish he was more demonstrative..Like holding hands etc but he is a wonderful man and we have been together for over 23 years..

  • Mary Davidson

    I love the recognition that we can have differences that are not disagreements. I can so relate to almost all thing different with my husband, and yet, I love him so much! He is a night-owl and I go to bed early. He sleeps in and I arise with the sun. I like salads and fruit and pastas and he likes meat and potatoes. I like to go for walks and exercise and watch movies to relax. He likes to work in his garage all day fixing things around our house and fix his computer to relax. BUT, at least we BOTH don’t like professional sports or pop culture! And we BOTH agreed years ago that we should never own a TV. This has been absolutely wonderful for our marriage. 🙂

  • Jennifer O

    Who would want to marry someone just like them? That would be so boring. But marrying someone so different than yourself can be a huge challenge. Finding ways to live with and even embrace those challenges can be hard. Thanks for encouragement in this area. My hubby and I are quite different but I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Kristin

    I love that. My husband and I are so different. And in the good things. He pushes me when I am to chicken and I hold him back when we need to rest. We just celebrated 15 years. It has been wonderful and exciting.

  • Shelley

    I am enjoying this series. Thank you for the give aways and for the gift of your inspiration.
    I am always blessed after reading your blog.
    SLS

  • Natalie D

    It’s amazing how I am able to relate to or have a question answered, or a solution gracefully placed on my laptop in just about all of your posts. As a newlywed, your posts not only encourage and inspire me to be a woman of God, but a proud, loving, and honorable wife, and I am so thankful to know that there are other women in this world who strive to be this way and are here to help lift each other up. You are a blessing Darlene, & thank you for all that you do!

  • Virginia Perez

    Thank you so much for all that you share. Your site has truly been a blessing. May the Lord continue to use you and bless you in all you do.

  • Laura

    Thank you so much for all of the wonderful articles on this site! I am a pastor’s wife and I often share what I have read. Most of the time I just tell other ladies about the site so they can check it out for themselves!

  • Rachael

    Love this reminder that we need to encourage the differences in our spouse and support them with reminders that we love that about them.

  • Dayna

    This is a great reminder to celebrate the differences that attract me to my mate, whereas the world will tell you that those are a sounding board for complaints. Thank you for always being positive and Godly!!!

  • kim r

    Let go of expectations is definitely a #1 for me…and if you do set expectations there should be communication, clarification and understanding behind those expectations (something I would often forget) lesson learned and I’m thankful for it & our marriage is better 🙂 COMMUNICATION

  • Lindsey

    Perfect post to start my week off right! My husband and I have a lot of differences, but it’s exactly as you said, those are the things that attracted me to him in the first place. Where i’m reserved and shy, he is outgoing…where I easily get stressed, he stays calm in most situations. It is important to take a step back every once in a while and remind yourself of the positivity in your differences because they can be a struggle at times. My husband is a great influence in my life and an amazing person to call my other half. I am very blessed to call him mine!

  • kayla

    Love your post! They are so encouraging! I am getting married this December and have been looking for things to read to better equip myself for married and your posts have helped prepared me more then i could have imagine! Thank you for being obedient to the Lord!

  • Pam

    Thank you so much for this series. It couldn’t have come at a better time. We have been married for 29 years, but lately we have had many conflicts. This time of midlife has been tougher then I thought it would be. God is good and He is faithful. I’m learning more about clinging to Him. I really appreciate your point about expectations, not only in marriage but in other relationships. Thank you for the chance to win the coffee pkg! Very excited! Thanks for these posts from you all!

  • Ginny

    Thank you so much for putting your time and prayers into this blog. I always enjoy reading it and trying to apply it to my life. It helps me to not be stagnant in my marriage but be constantly trying to grow closer to my husband and closer to The Lord. I appreciate that. Thank you also for the opportunity to win these prizes each week.

  • Ann

    Love all your posts and loved this one. It’s seems like it’s easier to remember our differences rather than the reasons we love them! Can’t wait to read your book.

  • Anita Morris

    My husband and I are like night and day sometimes thank you for the encouraging information! Such an awesome giveaway, it would truly be a blessing to win.

  • Ashley Tintinger

    Loved this post! My husband and I are sooo different, and I really needed a reminder that it’s a good thing. 😉 I rarely understand his passions but I think I definitely can work on being more supportive of them. Thanks!!

  • Tammy

    Love the article. Thanks so much for your commitment to helping women to better their lives, homes, families, and marriages. Oh, and I am really hoping to win the giveaway for today. I love Keurig products!

  • Shelby

    Exploring our differences is fun! My husband and I, both being widowed, have only been married to one another for 3-1/2 months. In between we both had several years to sort of get set in our ways. The differences are fun to explore and God seems to have made us so that we complement one another well most of the time. And when we don’t, when the differences become disagreements, we’re really learning a lot about one another as we work through to a good solution for us as a couple.

    Life is good. God is awesome!!

  • Quincey

    It’s amazing how differences in marriage would just happen to be the topic for this week! See my husband and I are moving into our first house (really it’s the first time we won’t be living with our in-laws on either side) and we spent all weekend discussing (arguing) over how we would decorate the house. He wants muted and darker colors where I want bright, fun colors. Like you said about your husband, it’s one of the many things that made me fall in love. Today’s post was a great reminder of this! Thank you so much!

  • L

    I really am surprised how much a good man will let you dream and I try to be right behind my husband like he is in mine. Like you, when I went on a sewing spree, he surprised me with a quilting machine for Christmas because I had so many projects I wanted to do. When I wanted to sculpt, he was behind me then. Getting back into my hobby of fishing? Hours at Bass Pro it is. (Hubby isn’t an outdoorsman with the exception of shooting) Having the chance to ride horses again under a FEI trainer? My biggest passion since, well, since I first knew what a horse was? Up at 4:30 in the morning to go to work early so he could come home by 3 to take care of the baby so I could be at the barn by 4, plus hundreds of dollars on buying equipment. I am so blessed to have such a supportive husband. I mean, my parents always told me I could be whatever I wanted to be, but my husband’s support really makes me believe I can do what I really want to do in life. He never has any snark for me when I sigh and say, “Imagine how great it would be if… (insert giant-very-unlikely dream like riding grand prix)” He only responds with, “What do we need to do to make that happen?” And he hates horses. I mean really detests them. When we were dating he told my mother in law, “I think she’s perfect. Except for that horse thing.”

    He’s so supportive of me. When you were talking about the things your husband does for you, it reminded me of all he does for me. We are really some truly blessed gals! I try to be as supportive of him when he expresses his dreams. But he sets a really high bar! 😛

    • Darlene Schacht

      Yes! I love reading this comment. Seriously, I felt like I was absorbed in a good book. I couldn’t write at all other than stuff I used to put into a diary, and then one day I’m like, “I want to write a book.” And he got right behind me. 🙂

  • Valetta

    Thank you for this, we need help for marriages today, that gives biblical values. Our society is twisting and all confusing with the ideas the judges are allowing. My Pastor even told us it’s never too soon to PRAY for your children spouse and marriage. I’ve been married 25 years in December. And they were toddlers then.

  • Nancy

    My husband and I have a lot of differences, especially cultural. He is from China, and I am from the states. Luckily, our Catholic faith has kept us trying to find common ground. Not always easy!

  • THERESA

    We are total opposites! I am totally introverted and he’s the extrovert! No doubt. Thanks for the giveaway. We LOVE coffee – one of our special bonds. 🙂

  • Cheryl Prall

    The pastor said at our wedding how different my husband and I are but that we knew the differences which is why he went ahead and agreed with our wedding. There have been times when I have allowed our differences to be a barrier between us but God has been showing me how are differences can be used. It has taken a while and much growing with more growing to come.

  • Thalia

    I’ve been blessed to find a husband who I rarely argue with. In fact, compared to my past experience of “fighting” considering there’s no blood shed, tears cried and nothing broken or damaged, I’d say we don’t fight at all. The only thing we’ve ever disagreed about is the kids. We raised a blended family with unique struggles, and I’m much more strict than my husband so it made for some trying times through the teen years especially. But we’re empty-nesters now and life has been a breeze. You’re so right about expectations.

  • Ruth

    This is a great post, and very timely for me, and I imagine for many more wives out there who are struggling with guilt, depression, and loneliness due to a lack of connection between ourselves and our spouses. I need to continue encouraging and loving my spouse, regardless of the outcome! I want to be a Jesus wife!!!

  • Shaunda

    Good stuff here and good reminder for me to see the beauty and power in our differences rather than using them as weapons. After all, we were first of all attracted to each other because of the different strengths we saw in each other.

  • T

    I love your blog, Thank you for all the encouraging words. You truly have a gift. I just started this virtual marriage retreat today. Is there anyway to access the previous weeks reading/blog? thankyou

  • Amanda

    Just found your blog, and boy, do I need it. I’m working hard to be a less “strong willed” (my way or the highway) type of wife and make my home a more restful and joyous place to be.

  • Britney

    Would love a yummy kerig! My hubby and I are daylight and dark. I’m too blessed and it definitely keeps life interesting! Praise God!

  • Annie

    I am so looking forward to getting your book, it should come next week:)!!
    Thank you for all you share to encourage me on your blog!
    God Bless!!

  • Chelsea

    This was a wonderful article! Reading this article made me realize that differences don’t have to be negative. It’s so easy to go about my day and think “gosh, why didn’t he make the bed today?” or “Why doesn’t he want to talk for hours on end like I do?” But I fell in love with him for everything that makes him him. I choose to spend the rest of my life with him-differences and all. So I need to wrap him up in a big hug and tell him I love him for everything that he is.

  • Laura Moretz

    I love your website. Thank you so much for all of your books and encouraging blogs they have really made a differnce in my marriage. Also, thank you for doing the giveaways that is so awesome! I’m very excited about the coffee package.

  • Stefanie @ Calledhis.com

    I love this 😛 My fiancee and I are SO different. I.e Books are my soul, and he doesn’t like reading at all! He is obsessed with cars and being a grease monkey, I’m a writer and a reader who likes to sing.

    But what brings us together is we can support and LET each other be who we are. I don’t feel like I have to change a thing to be his future wife 🙂

  • Wendy

    I enjoy your blog posts a great deal, can’t wait to read them. You often make me think about my marriage and how I might improve upon what is all ready good. This coffee package would be a very welcome item in our house of three guys and myself. My husband and two grown boys. I just dream of leisurely sipping on a cappuccino while blogging through my Bible, with Courtney.

  • Gina Windle

    My hubyy and I have different interests, but we both love a good cup of coffee! Thank you for sharing so much with us. You are a blessing.

  • April

    Learning to be a better spouse for yourself and your significant other is crucial for sucessful marriages. Once you think you know it all your in trouble.

    Once I began my walk with God and serving myself our relationship is stronger than ever!

  • Rebecca

    I love these marriage posts each week. 🙂

    And I’m so excited about the book launch! These giveaways are great. I use the Keurig at my church to make tea and it’s so nice to have a quick cup made just for me! 🙂

  • Amy Miron

    Thanks for the great reminders. My husband and I often struggle in communication and appreciation in our marriage and these posts are encouraging me to reflect on the positive and to find new ways to help with our issues. Thank you so much.

  • Heidi Smith

    My husband and I are also different, but it is what makes us fit so well together! I ground him, and he keeps me from never trying anything new!

  • Kimberly

    I’m glad he knows so much more than me when it comes to the hidden workings of a house ie. Electrical and plumbing. When I want to do another crazy reno, its my husband to the rescue to clean up all the wires or pipes from the previous owners.

  • Dani

    Thank you so much for the encouraging post! My eyes are open in a new way to how the LORD brings couples together to complete one another. Thank you for sharing.

  • grace

    Thank you for the chance for this giveaway, missed the first 4 giveaways .. so maybe I can win this for my husband, he loves coffee and has been thinking of getting the Keurig. Also, just download your bible study lesson: Ruth today and did the 1st chapter – thank you for sharing those bible lessons, looking forward to finish Ruth and Phillippians next.

  • Stephanie

    Thank you for your life lessons! Whether God has a plan for marriage for me or not I am learning so much from your blog! Winning the coffee would be nice to share while I read your blog!!!

  • LaTessa Martin

    Thanks so much for all of your wonderful words of wisdom! God speaks to me through your blog when I need it most-and even when I don’t think I need any help… Haha. We too are very different, but that is what made me so attracted to him in the first place. But now that we’ve been together longer, I constantly find myself trying to change him into who I want him to be–not necessarily who God created him to be. Thanks for grounding me a bit today!

  • Angela

    I think embracing our differences is what makes us stronger as a couple. I love that my husband is so different from me. He helps me to see the big picture sometimes instead of focusing on the minute details of life. 🙂

  • Stephanie Truesdell

    I’m not married, and have no immediate plans to be. But I love your posts. They keep my heart on the kind of marriage I will have one day.

  • Jenny Rutan

    Love the post…especially the “Let go of EXPECTATIONS”! I think that is one of the areas I really need to have God work on in me. Thanks for your godly insight on helping marriages unite! God bless you guys.
    Love and Prayers,
    Jenny

  • Laura Beals

    Thank you for posting this, I needed to hear it this morning. My husband and I are both writers, and very different writers – style, characters vs. plot, structure, you name it. I admire his talent so much and have been fighting being jealous of it because he makes coming up with good ideas look so easy! But I’ve been being conflicted about my attitude. We were made differently, and when I step back and look at the big picture, I can see how both of our different skill sets fit perfectly together. We have these differences to work as a team, not to envy the other.
    God bless!
    ~Laura

  • Lisa S.

    I am so happy to have these blogs to go to. Struggling terribly in our marriage and am feeling quite alone. Thank you for strength through His word!

  • Irina

    With being married (only) for two years there is always something to improve! And your book (seems like) is a wonderful guide for growing closer day by day…Thank you for using your Gods given talent to help all of us.

  • Jennifer

    I always enjoy getting your email in my inbox 🙂 I’ve come to realize that the longer I’m married to my husband, the more differences we have. Everyday I learn more about him and love him for who he is….it’s not always easy tho… but thank you for your encouragement 🙂

  • Angela

    I am so excited about these marriage posts, and the give aways. I slacked on my marriage thinking that we didn’t need to do anything more because we were happy at that moment. But it just got us to a bad place where I felt alone. These are really helping. Thanks.

  • Sherry Graham

    Wonderful ideas to show love and respect for your guy. As we are taking came of my guys father in the end stages of liver cancer, it’s easy to forget each other’s needs. Being home bound with him, God is leading me to many helpful places that I wouldn’t have found before.

  • Nikki

    I love your blog! I’ve been following for months now, praying through a difficult (what the world would consider an impossible) time in my marriage. Your posts are refreshing, real, and helpful. God is good all the time!

  • Jessica D

    Great post! My husband and I most definitely have our differences (night person/morning person; coffee drinker/pop drinker; bad driver/good driver haha… etc etc) but I agree, it would be boring if we were both the same! After 12 years of togetherness (3 of those being married), we are still learning new things about one another which can sometimes be frustrating but awesome at the same time! Thanks for the words and the giveaway!

  • Sherri Bailey

    Thank you so much, Darlene, for your articles! They have helped me be more aware of how I treat my husband and how I should be treating him, from a biblical perspective.

  • Marisha

    You offer such a good and refreshing perspective on how we should focus on the differences if indeed we do choose to focus on them and/or they got on the way. You are miles ahead of me when it comes to embracing them and appreciating them the proper way. I’ve got sooo much to learn from you!! 🙂

  • Ashley

    Great post! I love the dream one. Sometimes I forget that my husband has other dreams than just providing for our family. Can’t wait to go ask him what some of them are!

  • Ruby Abraham

    Your posts are really encouraging! sme are very apt for the situation I am in right now. Thanks a lot for sharing. May Almighty God bless you abundantly and use you for his Glory.

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