By Lindsay Few
After fifteen years of marriage, sometimes it’s easy to forget how we ended up here, together.
We’ve always been night and day; less “two peas in a pod,” more “opposites attract.” There’s a lot of strength to be found in those differences, but only when we see one another more clearly than we focus on the differences.
When we met, Brian was like no other college guy I’d seen. This fella maintained a regular sleep schedule, went to the public library after class to finish all his homework, and knew how to cook more than one dish! I, on the other hand, fancied myself an artsy bohemian type. I routinely stayed up half the night, finished assignments at the very last minute, and it was not unheard of for me to sleep through any number of alarms and miss my first class. My meals came courtesy of the dining hall or the campus convenience store. Brian’s proactive approach to life kind of blew my mind.
We knew we functioned very differently from the beginning, yet in the important things, we were totally aligned. We both desired a life following Jesus, and both knew we needed Him in the center of our life. We shared a love of the beach and being active outdoors; we both valued a simple life with family and friends.
Several years into marriage, these night and day differences aren’t always so charming. Sometimes they’re completely infuriating. When we face decisions large or small (which is every day), our different personalities are apparent. There are things we just don’t see eye-to-eye on, starting as small as “how to cook scrambled eggs.” When one (or both) of us is tired, stressed, irritable, or is thinking selfishly, small differences can blow up in our faces, leaving us feeling disconnected, and our house full of tension. While we’re in the kitchen getting breakfast together for the family, I can interpret Brian’s thoughts on how to properly scramble the egg as criticism toward me, take it personally and turn it into a fight, or I can just acknowledge that yes, his way does end up without any eggs crusted onto the pan! Or I can ask him to be “egg master” for the morning; he’s happy to do the task, and he really is better at it.
Dr. Kim writes a lot about taking time to remember the things that first attracted us to our spouse, as well as accepting our spouse just as they are. When I take time to remember how our opposite nature was a part of our initial attraction, I am also reminded that there is so much strength found in our differences. When we function selflessly in our marriage, we can lean on the other’s strengths where we are each weak. Leaning into one another’s strength in marriage brings joy to us, and glory to God.
This is a guest post by Lindsay Few. Lindsay is content editor and admin assistant at Awesome Marriage. More of her writing can be found here. She lives on the sunny coast of NC with her husband, Brian, church-planting pastor of Live Oak Church, their four wild and wonderful kids, one dog and one cat. The Fews love to spend time on the beach, playing music, and gathering at the dinner table with family and friends.