In the book “Dealing with Differences in Marriage“, Dr. Brent Barlow discusses the differences between men and women and the fact that it’s okay to have difference in marriage. In fact it’s healthy. He stresses that it’s how we tolerate our differences that has to be monitored. Differences do not have to be a bad thing. He discusses the ten C’s of marriage to help couples cope, which we’ll explore later. We are going to discuss how differences with your spouse can make your marriage stronger. What we tend to forget is that there’s a reason opposites attract, because it’s good for us.
Think about it, if you married someone just like you then..
- You wouldn’t have to grow
- you wouldn’t have to get out of your comfort zone
- You wouldn’t have to enter into someone else’s world
Differences are precisely what you need to become the person God has intended you to be. As Solomon noted “as iron sharpens iron so a friend sharpens a friend”, Proverbs 27:12. Differences can add richness, depth, and texture to your marriage. If you embrace them. Your differences can be your biggest asset as a couple.
- Identify and acknowledge your differences. In what ways are you different? For example: You’re an extrovert, he’s an introvert. This is where compromise comes in, which you’ll have to do lot of along the way. This scenario is quite common actually. Help each other get what they need. For instance, there’s two dinner parties this weekend the extroverted wife wants to attend tonight the introverted husband wants to stay in. The husband needs to respect his wife’s need to connect with people and attend the dinner party with her and support her in that way. And wife needs to respect her husband’s need and right to be introverted by staying in tomorrow night. Tonight we go out tomorrow we stay in. Both parties get what they want.
- Communicate. Communication is listening and understanding what the other person is trying to express and the listener does their very best to try to understand the person. It’s also opening up and sharing yourself with another person even if it means becoming vulnerable. It’s the basis of any successful relationship. We all have a need to be understood. Strive to understand. It’s what makes relationships better.
- Your Spouse is a gift from God, don’t miss use them. Your spouse is your balance and the person that enables you to grow and develop into the person you have become.
- Cover one another. If you truly love your spouse you won’t expose, humiliate, or condemn them whenever they make a mistake. You will cover them. You’ll cover each other weakness with love.
- Cherish one another. The word cherish literally means to feel or show affection. It is the number one need of the wife, also very important to men. Affection will give you the emotional thrust you need when things get rough, it’s the glue that bonds your relationship together. In good times and bad.
- Consult with one another. Agreement is a foundational principle of relationship success. Make decisions together. Weigh pros and cons, use wisdom, and arrive at what’s best for the relationship.
- Cleave to one another – Always remember your spouse compliments you in a way that no one else can. Never lose sight of the need you have for each other.
The ten C’s of Marriage
- Co exist