Marriage and Ministry: Opposites Attract and Then They Attack! Part 1
Posted by LifePro Consult in: Emotional Health For Leaders
The spontaneous, disorganized person who is always losing their keys is attracted to the neat, orderly person. The “everything is serious” person is attracted to the fun loving person. The spender is attracted to the saver and the morning person is attracted the night owl.
What’s attractive when we are dating has the potential to become divisive as our relationship continues through the years, especially with the additonal dynamic of living in the glass bowl of ministry. If we are not aware of this, it can begin to erode our relationship. And, we will certainly miss the blessing of learning to lean into and discover the value of those differences.
In Song of Solomon 2:15 it says: “Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!”
It really isn’t usually the “BIG” issues that destroy a marriage, it’s the “little foxes.” Differences in temperament, gender and personal history are many times what attracted us to our spouse but after a few or many years those “wonderful” differences become the biggest stumbling blocks in our marriage.
Here are a few key ingredients for developing and keeping a connected, fulfilling marriage that will keep the little foxes away:
- Compromise: A compromise is when two sides give up some demands to meet somewhere in the middle. Check your heart - are you truly willing to compromise?
- Accept you can’t change another person. We must give each other the freedom to be different. The closer we come to God, the more we'll respect each other's differences. Rather than focusing on how differences tend to divide us, let's focus on how the differences allow us to complement each other.
- Lower your expectations. When expectations don't meet reality, problems arise.
The following is an exercise you can do to see if your expectations are unrealistic.
Write down all expectations you have of your spouse. Start each sentence with “I expect him/her to…” Keep the sentences short and sweet; there is no need to justify each expectation. Let the list grow as long as it needs to. It’s important that you realize how many expectations you have. Next look at how many are realistic vs. unrealistic and focus on 1 or 2 that are most important and discuss those with your spouse.
- Gain greater understanding of yourself. Understand who you are and gain greater understanding of your personality, the impact of your family background and how hurts and traumas of the past have formed your way of thinking or your behavior. Become more self-aware.
In our next post we will look at the next ingredient of maintaining a fulfilling marriage.
Serving with you,
Co-Founder, Called Leader