Some people claim that women are from Venus and men are from Mars, but actually both men and women are designed by their Creator to be unique and necessary. God created us this way for a reason. In a world that touts “equality,” I’ve spent more time marveling over the specific roles of men and women and rejoicing in the beauty of our differences. I’ve even come to truly appreciate headship and submission . . . yes, even in today’s world.
Most of all, I’m just glad that the lyrics by Simply Red weren’t accurate when they sang, “If you don’t know me by now, you will never, never, never know me.” It’s never too late to understand and appreciate our spouse’s differences. And never too late for them to appreciate ours.
Your partner’s quirks of character are there for the duration,” says Toni Poynter, author of Now and Forever. “They really are not calculated affronts to you. Try not to take them personally.”
I love this bit of wisdom!
Of course, it took me and John a while to understand that. I wasn’t just trying to annoy him when I burst out crying in an argument. I wasn’t grilling him when I asked about every aspect of his day. I truly wanted to know his interactions as a way to connect with him.
When asked what marriage represents to them, Gen Xers use words like “family,” stability”, and “lifelong love.” But they also want egalitarian marriages, in which they are peers, partners, best friends, part of a team. We want to have adventures, learn together, and be the kind of couples to challenge old stereotypes and succeed at a lifelong marriage of equals. We want the kind of marriages that we’ve always fantasized about but have never actually seen.
The phrase, in the above quote, that stood out to me most was ‘part of a team.’ Like my son’s varsity basketball team (go Crusaders!), some of the best teamwork happens when each player excels at his or her specific role. My son is tall and husky, that makes him perfect for the key, under the basket. Other teammates are small and quick . . . they excel at taking the ball down the court on a quick break.
“In God’s mind our differences are designed to be complementary, not to cause conflicts. This principle is illustrated by the Christian church, described in 1 Corinthians 12 as being similar to the human body—composed of ears, eyes, legs, feet, hands, arms, and so forth. Each member of the church is seen as an important part of the body. When everyone works in unity, each part enhances the others and together they serve the purposes of God,” writes Gary Chapman, author of The Four Seasons of Marriage.
“Similarly, in the institution of marriage, God intends for husbands and wives to bring their unique characteristics together to form one team that will work together under God’s direction to accomplish his eternal purposes. God designed our differences to be assets, not liabilities. When we learn to maximize our differences for the benefit of the marriage, we align our lives with God’s purposes.”
Do you feel like you’re part of the team? How can you be more complimentary to your spouse in your roles?
© Tricia Goyer author of Generation NeXt Marriage