I’m living with two men right now. There is a subwoofer in my living room, gas fumes seep into the house from the motorcycle project, and dirt piles are in my backyard.
I love men…I really do. No sarcasm there, I promise.
When we as women can learn to appreciate men, for well, just being men, we can enjoy our differences rather than make our differences an object of dissension. I love that my husband and son are vastly different than me.
At times this can also be irritating, if I let it…
I got thinking about this while watching an episode of Shark Tank on TV. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a show where business owners try to convince very successful entrepreneurs—SHARKS—to invest in their business. When I watch the show with my husband and son they fast forward the human interest part of the show. Then one day while watching alone, instead of skipping the human interest stories, I watched them. And do you know what? It was my favorite part of the show!
Why do they always skip over that part?
They want the facts. They enjoy the “hunt” of a good investment. They don’t want the “fluff,” they want the “nuts-and-bolts.”
I love the “fluff.” I want to hear about the people. I want to see their kids and the community they live in. I’m interested in the relational aspect of the show. Give me the stories!
Yes, men and women are very different.
So, how do we enjoy these contrasts rather than allow them to divide us?
I’m reminded of something my son said to me. During a discussion with my husband, I nonchalantly uttered words without much regard and got a reaction I didn’t expect. My son said, “Mom, you need to think about what you are going to say and ask yourself how it will be heard. Ask, ‘Will what I am going to say hurt the other person?’” Yikes! Bullet! It lodged right in the valve of my heart.
I tend to suffer from a thinking disease—I think other people think like me. You may suffer from the same disease too. We view life through the lens of our own experiences. Granted, we have no other choice, but true understanding comes when we can step outside of ourselves and look into situations from another’s viewpoint. This is true particularly in marriage. In Matthew 12:36, Jesus said these words: “And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment.” That verse gets me every time! And don’t forget about, “…let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger” (James 1:19b). Gulp!
In marriage we need to constantly consider that our spouse is wired vastly different than we are. Your husband or wife is unlike you in many wonderful and challenging ways. Embrace the diversity and seek to understand their point of view. And ask yourself, “How will what I say be heard by my loved one?” Basically we need to: “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself” (Philippians 2:3).
Do you believe your spouse is more important than you? Our actions will reveal what’s truly in our heart.
Accept and love others for who they were created to be.
Until next time, celebrate God’s kaleidoscopic of dissimilarity.