There is a focus in our culture for soul-mates, compatible partners, and spouses “completing” each other. Everyone seems to be looking for “the one”. However, that “one” seems to be idealized as “your” one. Someone who completes all of your requirements, satisfies your longings, looks a certain way, has a certain amount of money or a certain job, loves this or that, just like you. Is this how God teaches us to look for a potential spouse or love our husband? Odds are, you and your spouse are going to have tons of differences. How do we live in God’s design of marriage, in unity, with our personality differences?
Before I go further, there are 3 truths that need to be stated in order for us to be on the same playing field in this discussion.
1. God’s Word is Inerrant
This means there is no error in the Bible. It is the Ultimate Truth. Whatever it says is true and should mold our thinking and world view.
2. Woman is for Man and Man is for Woman ONLY
According to scripture, it is not Gods will for people to have romantic relations with the same sex. When I talk about partners, I’m meaning a man and a woman, a boyfriend and a girlfriend, a husband and a wife.
3. The Letters in the New Testament are God-breathed and Profitable for Teaching God’s Will
The exhortation that the New Testament writers give should be taken as seriously as the words of Jesus. They line up with Jesus’ words and the authors were led by the Holy Spirit.
Now let’s get to it.
Abe and I dated for six months before he purposed. From our second date, and possibly even over text before then, we were talking about marriage. We both saw dating as a direct avenue to marriage and we talked through how each of us thought about dating and marriage. This led to lots of conversation and questioning to make sure we were on the same page foundationally; further, spiritually.
Of course we talked about other things, like life experiences and favorite things, and went to fun places together, like the park and the bowling alley. But having those conversations about our spiritual foundations drove our thoughts and feelings toward each other.
Fast forward 6 months: he proposed.
(This is moments before he knelt down!)
Fast forward another 3.5 months: we got married.
(This is moments after we were pronounced husband and wife!)
Now we are just under a year of marriage. We have learned so much more about each other!
We have learned much more about our personality differences.
Living with someone so closely after both of us lived separately by ourselves is very eye opening to your own routines (read about my morning routine), weaknesses, and ways of thinking…and to those of your husband.
Some of our simple differences:
- He likes spicy food. I like bland food.
- I like quiet car rides of talking and enjoying the scenery. He likes listening to podcasts.
- He hates to dance. I love to swing dance and two-step.
- I keep up with many friends. He would rather stay home.
- I like keeping the house cold. He would rather save money by keeping the AC a little high.
- I like everything to be in its specified place in the house. He randomly sets stuff everywhere.
Among our differences, which we could (and I definitely sometimes do) take too seriously or get annoyed with, we have to rely on God for grace and patience, knowing that we are one as husband and wife.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. -Ephesians 5:25-33
Abe and I are one, God commands husbands to love their wife and wives to respect their husband, and marriage is a reflection of Christ’s relationship to His church. These truths make those moments of annoyance or frustration not really matter in the big picture of our marriage.
If you are annoyed with your husband a lot because of personality differences, realize that he is human, and redeemed by God if he believes that Jesus is the Son of God who came to save sinners.
Remember marriage is sacred and created by God to show Himself to the world. You are also not your own if you’re in Christ. Pray for grace and wisdom. Thank God for giving you grace and everything that you need for your marriage.
If you are single and pursuing marriage, I pray that you remember the purpose of marriage while you date. Look for someone who shares your spiritual foundation, for that is how God designed marriage to look. Growing in the Lord with a leader of a husband to glorify Him.