Sunday, August 7, 2011

I Turn the Heat Up; He Turns It Down by Lori Hatcher

I turn the heat up; he turns it down...

I like vigorous walks; he likes vigorous channel surfing. I like fruit, veggies, and pasta; he likes chicken, beef, and pork. I like making lists and planning; he likes to be spontaneous. I think chocolate without nuts is a waste of good chocolate; he thinks nuts belong in the bird feeder. I sleep like a swaddled newborn; He sleeps like an end zone ref declaring a touchdown. I like sweet stories with happy endings; He likes action movies with guns and bad guys.
There's no doubt about it. We are different.

A wise counselor once said that some of the fights in our marriage would be over matters of right and wrong. Others would be caused by selfishness. The vast majority of our fights, however, would be over what she called "differentness."
And this is true of friendships and other family relationships as well, not just marriages.

It took me about ten years to begin to realize that just because my husband, David, thought differently than I did, he wasn't necessarily wrong. Prior to that revelation, I assumed that there were two perspectives -- my way and the wrong way.
Albert Einstein is famous for saying, "Insanity is doing the same thing the same way and expecting different results."
I don't remember the subject of the stalemate, but I do remember being frustrated enough to say, "Fine, we'll do it your way." And it worked.

That success caused me to begin to wonder what other pearls of wisdom might lie buried beneath my husband's alternative point of view. Guacamole on hamburgers? Eeeew! Let our daughter attend youth group in the sixth grade? Intimidating! Buy a newer car before the wheels fall off the one we have been driving forever? Frivolous!

As I learned to say, "This is the way I see it, honey, but what do you think?" I began to discover a depth of wisdom and insight in my husband's often very different perspective. God also revealed to me the root issue in my own heart -- the sin of pride. Simply put, my unwillingness to consider another's viewpoint was arrogant and presumptuous. I was also guilty of usurping my husband's God-given position of authority in our home.

I would love to say that I was cured of my pride in ten days like strep throat after a round of penicillin, but I'd be lying. To this day, after almost 27 years of marriage, I still catch myself making important decisions without getting my husband's input. God's Word, however, encourages me with instruction on how to live life in respectful consideration of the husband with whom He has gifted me.
"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" (Phil 2:3).
Guacamole on a hamburger? I’m still not a fan. But I did have a really good steak with my pasta salad the other day!

Lori Hatcher lives in Columbia, SC, with her youth minister husband, college-aged daughters, and four-footed child, Winston. Her writing goal is to type the Words God whispers into her heart. She is the author of the blog, “Be Not Weary”.

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