Celebrating Differences

Celebrating Differences

Many couples have personalities and interests that are very different. The first step in dealing with differences in a more effective way is to acknowledge that the differences exist. Early in relationships, couples tend to be in denial about their divergent personalities. Each wants to see the other as close to perfect, and both are willing to accommodate almost any behavior in order to keep the dream of an idyllic marriage alive. But as friction created by the differences builds, denial becomes impossible to maintain. At this point many partners put forth an all-out effort to change one another. However, it is an effort predictably doomed to failure and further frustration. 

If the couple is to grow toward intimacy, denial must give way to acceptance. It is essential to be clear here that we are talking about acceptance of the usual kinds of differences that couple know. e are not talking about acceptance of abusive or violent behavior. But as for “garden variety” differences, acceptance is a necessary next step. Acceptance opens the way for tolerance between a shy and an outgoing spouse. Acceptance means that we allow our partner to be the person God designed him or her to be.

Mutual respect is also key to living with a partner who has a different perspective than you. Respect allows each partner to see how the character and interests of the other can compliment and complete a marriage. If one spouse is creative and spontaneous, it is advantageous that the other is structured and organized. One makes the home beautiful and life exciting, the other gets the bills paid and keeps the family functioning effectively.

Sometime along the way, husbands and wives can actually enjoy the uniqueness of their partner and be challenged and blessed by the differences that exist. God in His wisdom created a family that is complete and caring.

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