By: Mandy Hill
“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Mark 10:6-9
Since the very beginning of time God made us different. For starters, he made us different genders. From that difference alone comes a multitude of additional differences.
Do our differences make us better or worse than the other? Well, I suppose you could look at it that way. However, thinking like that won’t get you very far. In fact, thinking that your differences elevate you or lessen you in comparison with your spouse, will lead to destruction and separation.
Perhaps learning to appreciate those differences that make each other ‘unique’ is a better option.
Now, this message is more for me than any of you, I’m sure. About a year ago, my husband and I took a personality course that was derived from the Birkman personality test. My particular personality suggests that I see life through a rather narrow lens, if you will. In other words, I expect others should be the same as me, at all times.
This idea, when I am honest with myself, is really not far from the truth. It doesn’t make me a bad person, but it does suggest it takes some significant effort on my part to truly appreciate the differences in my peers.
Now, in reality I don’t find I am un-appreciative of the differences I see in most people. In fact, I might even say I appreciate the differences of most, with ease. However, where my husband is concerned…. there are some significant differences that produce a ‘clash’. For example: I am extremely compulsive about cleaning and organizing. My husband is actually…..not. He could care less if our towels are folded with the rough edges facing away; or if all the glasses go in one row of the dishwasher, mugs in another, kids cups in another, etc; or whether all the silverware is laying flat in their organizer as opposed to helter-skelter.
I was challenged by this verse this morning. Does God require me to love the things about my husband that truly makes him different? Does He really care about me learning to appreciate the fact that my husband tends to lean more on the sloppy side??
Why? Because, when He united us together as husband and wife, He made us one flesh. One team. If we don’t walk through life in unison together (differences and all); we are walking separately. It is important to share our faith in God, but all other differences should be irrelevant to moving forward together.
It is when we let something small and irrelevant like glasses mixed with mugs on a dishwasher rack, or tossing towels in the linen closet without any intention come between us, that we begin to walk separately. And, it is in those very initial moments when we walk separately that the enemy sneaks in for the kill.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
Guard your heart, sisters. Appreciate every little difference.
Jesus, thank You! Thank You for my husband and for making him the man that he is. While he is different than me in so many ways, he is Your child, and You love him so much. Please teach me how to honor the many things that make us different. Help me to appreciate those differences as ways to make our ‘team’ stronger. I pray for my sisters out there who may also struggle sometimes with the things that make them different from their spouse; please teach them also to appreciate their spouse’s for the men that You have designed them to be. Please guard our marriages and help us walk together in life being careful to never give the enemy a foothold. (Eph 4:27) I pray all these things in Your precious and holy name, Jesus. Amen.