I am going to let you in on a secret…come close…it’s a good one! Most of the things I write about on this blog are for me! It is usually something I struggle with, have been through or something that is on my mind. Now that we’ve got that out of the way… Here are some things I have been hearing myself say lately.
“I was raised that way.”
“It is just my personality type.”
“That’s just how I am.”
My husband and I are leading a marriage small group at our church and our first night was about personality types and love languages. It was a really fun night and we all got a kick out of making silly, but loving, remarks about our spouses’ personalities and quirks. I am an EXTROVERT. My husband is an introvert. We have learned to love and respect each other’s weaknesses and strengths that come from our personality types – but I’ll admit sometimes I just don’t “get” him.
Why would you NEED to be alone? How can a party make you tired? Why do you prefer one-on-one conversations when you can talk to a group all at once? All legitimate questions in my extrovert mind. The big “but” comes in when I try to diminish these needs in my husband. I sometimes use the excuse well that is just the way I am…I talk loudly, I don’t need quiet time, It’s boring to stay at home. I think these things are all true and are a part of my personality, but they don’t give me the right to trample all over my husband’s needs.
When I start using excuses like these, the water gets a little murky… Can I really use that as an excuse for ignoring my spouse’s needs or bullying my children? I was raised in a house where we love deeply, have each others backs, talk freely, love a good debate (some would call it an argument), and we don’t mind confrontation. All things that seem perfectly normal to me, but can be offensive to my spouse, friends, co-workers and children. I have to try really hard to be sensitive, quiet, soft spoken, sympathetic and tactful. My husband on the hand is way more kind, thinks things through before he says them, tries really hard to be gentle with our children and is a peacemaker. Opposites attract right?
At the end of the day, we have to be true to ourselves while not hurting others in the process. I like to think that my husband can now appreciate a loud family gathering with 40 people talking all at once because he can see the love and joy it brings to me. On the other hand, I can respect a quiet family dinner with our children at home. It is all about loving and respecting your spouse, child or friend while learning to put others above yourself and seeing the beauty in something different.
Shockingly…I have learned a lot from this! I don’t always need to voice my opinion, not every issue needs to be addressed directly and immediately, thinking before you speak can prevent foot IN mouth disease, and just because it’s the way I am doesn’t mean it’s the right way.
How have you grown from accepting your spouses or children’s differences? How would you like to learn from their differences? Would this make life more enjoyable for your whole family? Comment below and let us know…