Couples often say one of their toughest challenges is adjusting to their spouse’s personality. Sound familiar? If so, here’s help.
- Watch today’s Marriage Meditation video.
- Read today’s marriage devotion.
- Share today’s question with your spouse.
1 Corinthians 12:17-18 — If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.
Matthew 7:3-5 — Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Couples often tell therapists that one of their toughest challenges is adjusting to a spouse’s personality. Many are ready to give up and resign themselves to a miserable state of existence. Others fear their situation will worsen to a point where the spouse’s personality turns repulsive — and divorce will be inevitable.
So, what do you do? Stay miserable? Get angry and resentful? Leave?
Maybe there’s a better way.
Consider these facts about differences in personalities.
God created us to be different. He knew there would be a place in His plan for introverts and extroverts, for thinkers and feelers. When we realise that, it’s often easier to accept and adjust to a spouse’s personality. It may even become possible to celebrate those differences.
It’s easier to spot a flaw than to see strength. Jesus put it in terms of spying a speck in another’s eye, versus seeing a log in our own Matthew 7:3-5.
Your ability to tolerate your mate’s personality changes with time. Most of us can stand negative behaviour for a while. But everyone has a limit. Is that the case with you? Maybe it’s not that your spouse’s personality has become more of a problem; it may be that your ability to value or overlook some attributes has diminished. The change is in your “irritation threshold,” which may need adjusting.
1 Corinthians 12:17-18 urges us to appreciate individual differences. The apostle Paul explains that every member of the “body” is valuable. Just because a part is different doesn’t give us the right to despise it and set it apart from the others.
The same is true with your mate’s personality. It may be different and sometimes difficult to manage. But God doesn’t want this to allow division in your marriage.
Heavenly Father, thank You for my spouse and the unique personality You’ve given them. Help us appreciate each other’s differences and grow together as a couple.
How can we celebrate our God-given differences while working together to become one?