Wednesday, October 17, 2012
I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying about how “opposites attract.” Sometimes, it almost seems like God did that just to make us suffer. I mean, it can be really difficult to get along with someone who sees everything different than you do, who reacts to everything different than you do, and who thinks totally different than you do. Yet, if God made us that way, there has to be a good reason for it.
Granted, some differences are really wonderful. How would it seem to you if women looked like men? I sure wouldn’t like that. I’m glad my wife looks different then I do. It’s also great that she’s more naturally nurturing than I am. Since we are both workaholics, if she wasn’t nurturing, our kids would probably have starved to death in dirty diapers. Many of our differences actually have helped us through the years.
That’s the point I want to make here. All those things you battle over; all those things which are different about her; they’re actually for your benefit. You see, none of us has the ability to do everything. We are all limited. Even the most talented amongst us have limitations to what we know and what we can do.
The major reason that opposites attract is that we see something in that other person which we need. They have strengths which are our weaknesses. Their abilities are things where we don’t have a clue.
When God split Adam into two people in the Garden of Eden, He knew what He was doing. He put half of the abilities in one, and the other half of the abilities in the other. Then He told them “Become one flesh once again.” Why did He say that? Yesterday I said that it was to multiply their ability, but today I want to add something to that: it was because He was trying to complete them. He was fulfilling His original plan to make Adam a more complete and capable person than he was at the beginning.
You see, those differences that you fight about are for both your benefits. Your strengths exist not just for yourself, but for her as well. Likewise, her strengths don’t just exist for her; they exist so that she might be able to help you out as well. When we start using our strengths for each other’s benefit, we both receive more, and accomplish more as well.
My wife and I have strived to do this throughout our marriage. Granted, sometimes we’ve done better than others, but we’ve always tried to use our strengths to benefit each other. Let me give you a simple example. One of my strengths is that I’m a super-organized person. Give me two of something and I have to organize it. Not only do I have to organize it, but I have to do so in a way which will be extremely efficient to work with. That’s not one of my wife’s strengths. So, when it’s time to organize something, she asks me the best way to do it.
One of the ways that this has helped us is in organizing the home. Like many families, we’ve moved a number of times through the years. Every time we move, there’s the job of organizing all our stuff so that we can live in the new place. In most couples, that’s the woman’s job. But, to leave that all to my wife would be torture for her. So, I come up with a plan for her.
Please note that I’m not dictating my will to her; I’m finding the best solution for the family and giving that solution to my wife. Take the kitchen for example. I know that many women think of that as their domain. But, my wife always asks me where things should be put in the kitchen. Why? Because what may take hours for her to decide is so clear to me that I don’t even have to hardly think about it. I can tell her the best place to put everything, so that it will be easy for us to work with (yes, I cook too).
The same thing happens in the other direction. I do a lot of writing and a lot of studying; but I’m not all that good at researching. I get bored digging through things, trying to find the one factoid that I need. On the other hand, my wife is a research queen. So, when it’s time to research something, she does it. Not only can she do a better job at it than I can, she enjoys it as well.
God made you and your wife different for a reason. It’s not to cause you problems, but rather to bless you both. That blessing can’t happen until you both quit fighting about your differences and start seeing how you can take advantage of those differences.
Why don’t you be the one to start? You probably already know the things where you are strong and your wife is weak. Okay, don’t just sit on your duff then, offer those strengths to her, for her benefit, to make things easier for her. She might be a bit suspicious at first, but it’ll be a great way to take your relationship to the next level; eliminating some causes of strife and being a blessing to each other.