When we first got married I had incredibly high expectations of what our relationship and marriage was going to look like. It wasn’t too long after we said “I do” that I realized these were completely unrealistic and totally one sided. This ended up causing major issues within our marriage, and we slowly began to drift apart.
James 4:1 says, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?”
Going through this rough season, what stood out the most was our differences. So in the midst of my idol (the unrealistic expectations) being hooked, I started to pick apart all of our differences, trying to justify myself.
It’s amazing how God works. While my goal was to “prove a point,” God’s goal was to show me the beauty in these differences.
Working Through Differences in Marriage
1. Don’t get lazy.
After “I Do,” many couples tend to fall in a comfortable zone. I call it the lazy zone. It’s in this phase that couples no longer make any effort to be romantic, they don’t set aside time for date nights, and they no longer have deep conversations with each other. So make time for each of these things!
Our lives are super busy. My husband works crazy hours, and I work from home and homeschool our children. Let’s just say that at the end of the day there isn’t much energy left in either of us.
So what do we do? We take advantage of those quick 5-10 minutes we can steal away from the day. Coffee is usually involved, and lots of great conversation flows from this time together. We know these moments are rare, so we cherish them when they arise.
Once or twice a month we make it a point to have a date night at home. You can check this post out for some great at home date night ideas!
2. Let go of expectations.
Your expectations, hopes, desires, and dreams may not be the same as God has for your spouse (or you). Learn to let go of wanting to be in control, and let God lead the way. Be diligent in prayer and in His Word. What God has planned for you and your spouse will be so much better than anything you could come up with.
3. Be patient and humble.
It’s human nature to be impatient. We grow impatient when we want things to go our way, or have an expectation of something. Then the pride kicks in when things don’t pan out as we hoped they would. But when we replace this with patience and humility, we don’t seek after our personal satisfaction. Instead, we seek out what is best for the ones around us, and to glorify God in our walk.
4. Embrace the differences.
My husband and I have very different interests. To name a few:
- I like to crochet – his hands are too big to hold a needle without smothering it.
- He likes to modify and work on cars – I’m just happy I know how to put gas in our truck.
- I like to paint (canvas) – the best he can do is draw a house with crayons.
- My husband is a talker; he’s long winded. I’m a 4-5 word sentence kind of person.
The very things that make us so different, the things that once were the supposed cause of our problems, are the things I love the most about us now! I like that we don’t have all of the same interests, because we open new worlds up to each other. It’s amazing how the Lord has used these very things to draw us closer to Him and to help us grow as individuals and as a couple.
We are two halves to one whole – each of us bringing incredible uniqueness to the table. And because we strive to live out our God-designed roles, to love each other more each day, and to serve one another daily, our two halves are able to melt and mold together beautifully.
Make an effort to embrace this differences in your spouse.
Marlene is a wife to an amazing husband and a mom to three kiddos. Her days as spent making her home a haven for her family, and homeschooling their kiddos in-between hugs and snuggles. In her not so spare time she enjoys crafting, painting (canvas not wall), or just relaxing with a cup of coffee and a good book. You can find her blogging at A Diligent Heart. She loves the Lord and is passionate about living life diligently for Him, in everything she does.