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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