3 Ways to Embrace the Differences in Your Marriage


Males and females are different. And in your marriage, it can become glaringly apparent that there are differences. But God created both male and female in His image.

In Genesis 1:27 we read: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” This means our differences are all aspects of God. We would be missing the full picture without our male or female counterpart. However, in marriage, there are times that our differences can seem like more of a hindrance than a beautifully fitting puzzle.

You may already be well aware of some areas you and your spouse are different. But take the time to focus on it truly. Write down all the ways you differ. From your problem-solving approach, to how you take your coffee, and everything in between. The list is going to be long!

Now you can use this list to shift your perspective of your differences from negative to embracing in three ways.

Pray for Peace

Note all of the points on your list that are causing you frustration, pain, or anxiety and pray for each one.

Pray for peace and contentment in each area. Ask God to change your heart, not your spouses, at every point that is causing you distress. Ask Him to show you how to best love, nurture, and support your spouse. Allow God to help you let go of the minor differences and to give you the strength to work through the more severe infractions. Rely on God for hope in whatever manner you are currently needing and struggling with, both personally and in your marriage.

Praying in this fashion routinely is a healing process for you and your marriage.

Find the Benefit

Now go through the list again and note all of the ways you appreciate the differences in your spouse.

Write how they compliment you, your marriage, and your family. Note their characteristics that you are proud of and look up to. Take the time to contemplate how your spouse’s differences balance you instead of hinders you.

However, if this is a difficult task, try to view your spouse through objective eyes. Even better, through God’s eyes and see the positive ways your spouse affects the people around them.

Search for Growth

Once more look at your list and search for the components of your spouse that you admire and wish you were more like. For instance, the way they remain level-headed or how compassionate they are for injustices. Your spouse’s positive qualities are opportunities for you to learn and grow as well. This could turn into a conversation with your spouse about how they could help you develop greater ability in this area.

Growth can additionally take place in the areas where our differences remain a source of contention. God can use those difficulties as ways to stretch your faith and grow in character.
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Photo Copyright: rido / 123RF Stock Photo



About

Melissa is a Christian mental health therapist, wife of ten years, and mommy of two pretty neat kids. As a therapist, Melissa works with couples in all stages of their relationship – from premarital to preparing for retirement together. She also provides parent education as well as helps families navigate family dynamics and adoption issues. Melissa blogs about these various topics, and you can connect with Melissa on her site or her socials.


  • Lisa | amerytina

    I LOVE this – especially #1. I remember before my husband and I got married someone told us never to try to be the other’s Holy Spirit. We absolutely have to pray for change in our own hearts, not theirs.

    • Melissa Gendreau

      That is great advice – never try to be the other’s Holy Spirit! Yes, change in our own heart needs to be the starting point.

  • Susan Evans

    I know so many marriages with severe problems that can’t be solved with just focusing on yourself. If the spouse is not right with God about serious issues, only a miracle can save the marriage.

    • Melissa Gendreau

      And thankfully we have a God who works in miracles!

  • Angel A. Chua

    Growth is truly important in any relationship. A healthy one will always have the environment for us to be better and more Christ-like.

    • Melissa Gendreau

      Very true, Angel. And a marriage is a relationship worth working on and continually praying over and growing into.

  • Heather Margiotta

    I always love reading your posts.

    Pray for God to change your heart- not your spouses- that is something that I learned really early on in my marriage and I believe it saved us from many disagreements because through those prayers I really did change and learned to be a better wife.

    • Melissa Gendreau

      Thank you Heather!

      That’s so wonderful that you were able to learn this lesson early in your marriage! Being willing to pray and acknowledge our own issues is necessary in marriage.

  • Keisha Russell

    A healthy relationship requires both spouses to pray together and for each other. I have prayed for God to change my heart a million times to be able to love my spouse the way he needs to be loved. God can turn any situation around!

    • Melissa Gendreau

      He can indeed! And when we are truly praying for God to change us for the betterment of our marriage and ultimately to glorify God, He answers us!

  • Emily Saxe | To Unearth

    I love the search for growth point! It’s so easy to either be frustrated or jealous of the differences in marriage. But I’ve found it’s much more refreshing and strengthening when I look for ways to grow from the differences my husband and I have!

    • Melissa Gendreau

      Yes! And when we are asking our spouse to help us grow individually, we absolutely grow as a couple.

  • Mary Gallagher

    It’s a game changer when we can look at our spouse through God’s eyes!

    • Melissa Gendreau

      So very true, Mary! It allows us to strip away the frustration, resentment, and any other negative emotion festering and just focus on them as a beautifully and wonderfully made creation of God.

  • Julie Loos

    Great tips for overlooking the things that separate and use them to draw us closer!

    • Melissa Gendreau

      So many things that we can initially see as friction points and sources of contention can actually be beautiful change agents for growth!

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