Upon getting married 14 years ago, I didn’t have a clue how different my husband and I were. We were both working in the IT industry, we both loved watching movies and dining out together and we both served the Lord in ministry in the same church. We generally wanted the same things in life and we loved each other. We were surrounded by our family and friends.
As the days of the first years of marriage pass by, I realized that we were more different than similar. He was messy inside the house while I wanted an orderly one. He likes spicy and flavorful food while I like plain. He makes decisions impulsively and is very action oriented while I take time to decide and is more detail oriented. He looks forward to achieving his goal and seeing things done while I enjoy the journey and take my time doing things according to my schedule. He’d rather rest and sleep for vacation while I would rather travel and do some sight seeing. He needs time to spend away from the house to focus while I wondered why he had to spend money over a cup of coffee which I incidentally don’t drink. You get the idea.
If I were to wallow on our differences, I think we’d have separated by now on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. But because I believe that what God has put together man shall not separate, I looked upon what God wants me to learn from our differences. Instead of focusing how it makes me feel, or how different we were, I chose to listen to God. I prayed that God would reveal to me what I should do from my end so that our marriage would work.
I learned to be thankful. Instead of complaining of what my husband can’t do or what he doesn’t do, I chose to look upon the blessings that God has given me through him. He is a good cook – which I am not, he makes decisions quickly – which I don’t usually do, he is strong in the areas that I am weak. I realized that God put us together because He wants both of us to change and become more like Christ in and through our married life.
I learned to choose my battles. Instead of nagging all the time, I would let God deal with him. Pray for him so that he can be who God wants Him to be. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t pray so he can be changed for me but I pray that change would happen so that he would know Jesus more in his own life. I believe that way, things will be better for us too. For the things which are important to me, those I call the non-negotiables, I let him know. Time spent with family and the kids are important so I am vocal about that but for the minor issues, I just let it pass. Communication is vital for our relationship to thrive and so that we can give what we need from each other and be respectful of each other.
Lastly, I learned that commitment takes humility and love. It is not only about being there to celebrate the joys of life, but it is about being there through the darkest days of your partner. It is not only being able to tell what or how you feel but it is about being able to listen without judging him. It is not only seeing the positive side of your spouse but accepting his weaknesses as well.
I believe that marriage works because Jesus is the center of it all. We as husbands and wives need to connect with Jesus intimately so we can be better husbands and wives and in turn raise healthy families. Let us turn to Jesus today.