Welcome to the Dark Side
By Sabrina McDonald
When Josh met Christy, he loved her sharp sense of humor and confidence. And Christy loved that Josh was outgoing and caring.
After a few years into marriage, their personalities stayed the same, but their attitudes changed.
“She’s controlling,” Josh said. “She studies my phone and scrutinizes my conversations with female coworkers.”
Christy: “He’s flirtatious and crosses too many boundaries with women. He doesn’t act like a married man should.”
Specific qualities attract us to a person, then cause irritation later on. Why?
We tend to think of strengths and weaknesses as opposites. But maybe you’ve heard that for most people, their greatest strengths actually tend to manifest themselves as their greatest weaknesses too.
That guy who keeps a clean house and pays close attention to finances may later seem like a stingy, demanding neat freak. (And that engaging, artistic free-spirit may drive him up a wall after first love fades because she’s disorganized and consistently runs late.)
But the qualities in your spouse you find irritating are actually God-given characteristics that offer a unique contribution to the world.
It’s Christy’s same “controlling” nature that makes her a conscientious wife, able to balance bills and spend money responsibly. And Josh’s outgoing personality is what keeps Christy upbeat and laughing, even during tough times.
The trick in marriage is to see the value of our spouse’s traits the way God does, and to have the humility to see our own weaknesses.
All of us have been given certain gifts, both spiritually and characteristically. It’s not a mistake. It’s God’s design.
The good stuff: As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace. (1 Peter 4:10)
- Make a list of your spouse’s weaknesses. How are they also strengths?
- What are the qualities that first attracted you to your spouse?
- How can you see your own weaknesses with humility?
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