Personality Differences in Marriage
Today Pastor Priji & Rashmi talk about how personality differences eat up into marriage space and become challenges that can lead to damages in the marriage.
Pastor Priji: What do you think of personality differences in marriage? Is it a big issue in marriage? What forms the personality or what makes it up?
Pastor Rashmi: What makes us who we are is, our genetics, nurture, nature, handiwork of God, a fingerprint He has given us that is unique and unmatched in the world. Because of the nurture and nature, there are good things and bad things as well, and we end up thinking what we hold in ourselves is “right”.
But God wants to work through all of those things in us. Just the fact that we are who we are with our different unique complexions, now we combine that with one more big force, which is our “spouse”.
Pastor Priji: I think that’s also a major reason why as quoted in divorce papers as ‘personality differences‘. This tells us that this is an area a lot of people are struggling with.
Rashmi and I are polar opposites, most people know, but the issue is not that we are different but is that those differences can start to define the relationship and stop us from being one. If it is not handled properly, it can create a wedge.
The solution we understand is – Compromise.
What do you understand on compromise? Especially, when founded on a covenant of marriage?
Pastor Rashmi: I used to believe that compromising is like giving up on your core values and lose a part of yourself in the process. I used to be scared of compromise, till I got married to you, and facing the polar opposite characteristics, I understood marriage is a moulding process. Compromising on the personality differences, not on the value system.
I realised that though it looked like I lost myself or part of me, I realised I was gaining a new part in the process.
Pastor Priji: I agree, it’s not so much about losing but about gaining. Becoming one is a very interesting process. Jesus used to word ‘just as the Father and I are one, let them be one as well‘. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are three distinctly different people but no disagreements in the trinity. That’s the goal to reach in marriage.
Although compromise looks like a bad word, it will eventually be helpful.
On the first day you compromise, it may look like a really bad challenge, but, over time it will be a blessing.
How important is compatibility to make a marriage work?
Pastor Rashmi: Some of us have felt some raw emotions just because the other person is not who you expected them to be or liked them to be. Compatibility is something we are all in search of, we’re all unique so there might be come glaring differences than the similarities you carry. Then you’re back to square one again.
When one of your desire is met, there will be one you will see is not met. Compatibility is a frivolous thing to run after.
Pastor Priji: So often, the pursuit of compatibility will bring us to superficial things and make mistakes on. I know couples who are exactly similar, but they go crazy against each other, but that’s because they don’t know how to compromise.
Is it actually fun to be in a conflicting environment ? Why does God put us in these environments?
One of the reasons people talk about homosexuality as a good thing is because, they say, there’s less differences and is the right way to do things. But that’s not the right way God intended it to be.
So why does God allow us to be in a conflicting environment like that?
Pastor Rashmi: I always quote this, if God is a purple coloured God, He made man Blue and woman a kind of Red. Any characteristic in human that you see is from God. For man to know God, he understands God as a Blue God. But when he sees God through a woman’s eyes, he sees a perspective of a purple God. Different perspective that is, “A complete picture of God”.
It is for you to discover who God is and understand who God is and God placed you in a marriage for that. We are growing to be in the image of God. Purpose for marriage is to be like Jesus. Every process of refinement, requires shaping, going through heat, polishing etc.
Pastor Priji: Sometimes we feel if our spouse was a little bit more like me, then our marriage would be perfect. But if we were both fully similar, then there is no scope for Agape love in that relationship, it would be completely conditional.
How will you practise patience if both parties are the same. I think that is why God puts us in a conflicting environment, so we can look more like Jesus and love like Jesus and become like Jesus.
This is our perspective on personality differences in marriage.
But remember, the purpose of marriage is not just to make you happy but to make you Holy and more like Jesus. (A quote by Rick Warren from The Purpose-Driven Marriage.)
God intended you to know more of God through your spouse, you can’t know Him all by yourself but through the differences in your spouse as well!
Marriage is a good covenant, it’s a good place to be in.
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