What are two of the best things you can do for your marriage?
1) Know your spouse’s personality.
My husband and I recently took an online personality test* and it was an eye-opening experience. This is not to say that I wasn’t aware of our personalities before, but to read about ourselves in print confirmed a lot of my suspicions of why we get along so well (and also why we don’t always get along).
When my husband and I met almost twenty years ago, there were several things that attracted me to him: his charming smile, his exuberance for life and his ability to express himself verbally. What did he like about me? My calm persona, my detail-oriented nature and my great listening skills. Some would say we were a match made in heaven—and I completely agree. In all the ways that I’m weak, he is strong, and vice versa. I make sure we don’t overspend while he ensures we take opportunities to treat ourselves. He’s an early riser who doesn’t mind driving the kids to school in the morning; I’m a night owl who helps them with their bedtime routine. With all the ways that we’re different, we’re able to bring a sense of balance and harmony to our relationship and family life.
It sounds nice and simple, doesn’t it?
So, what’s the second best thing you can do for your marriage? (This part is not so simple.)
2) Choose to love your spouse’s personality.
In other words, to love your spouse for exactly who they are.
To be specific, loving your spouse’s personality doesn’t mean saying you accept it, but also judging his or her actions in the same breath. It’s not about putting up with their quirks or shortcomings while rolling our eyes or harboring resentment in our hearts. It’s not holding your tongue in front of them and complaining about them behind their back. It’s not wishing they were different (or quite truthfully, more like us).
Loving your spouse’s personality means these five things:
- Acknowledging that your personality is not the better one.
- Accepting that your spouse has strengths you don’t have.
- Being thankful for the unique way God designed your spouse.
- Finding value in your spouse’s personality.
- Being patient with yourself and your spouse as you learn to appreciate him or her more.
Marriage is all about the long haul. And part of the journey is discovering—and rediscovering—those traits that made you fall for your spouse in the first place. If you take time to think about it, you may find that the things about your spouse that irritate or frustrate you now are the very things that attracted you to them once upon a time. If you need a tangible reminder of why you fell in love, make the time to connect with your husband or wife today. Take a personality test together. Laugh about all the ways you are different. Marvel at how well you complement one another. And have hope that both of you will continue to change and grow to become better spouses as you learn from each other.
There is no one in the world who ever has been or ever will be exactly like the person you married. That means you have a one-of-a-kind limited edition. So thank the Giver of all good things for blessing you with your spouse, and take care to love your precious gift!
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
*Click here to explore the personality test my husband and I took. (NOTE: This test is neither affiliated with nor endorsed by StartMarriageRight.com)