John and I have our irreconcilable differences. It would be strange if we didn’t. We are total opposites. We are about as different as two people can be- and this is not some accident- it’s God’s plan. Our love languages are different: Words of encouragement and physical expression are his love languages. Mine? Vacuum the floor for me and I’m all over you. Well not you, him. Finish the vacuuming first, of course. I’m quick, he’s thoughtful; I’m organized, he has a collection of socks on the floor; I see what’s in front of me, he dreams. In parenting, I kick butt, he reasons (to a point); my idea of vacation is to camp and hike, his is a stack of books sidled up to an overstuffed chair next to a crackling fire (after eight kids, I admit his idea has great appeal). Early on, I freaked out if we look like we’re going into debt, he thought ATM’s were ever-winning slot machines. I like to cook, he likes to eat. I rise before dawn, he does his best thinking at midnight. This is just a sample of our differences. Pretty much you name it, we’re opposite. But we have some all-important similarities: Singularly and together we have a non-negotiable love and commitment to Jesus. And, before we married, we decided divorce would be a four-letter word in our house and we’d never go there-not verbally, not mentally. That and prayer was about the only thing we had going for us, because we had some really wacky ideas about marriage-like, we thought it’d be okay to give each other privacy and respect if an old boyfriend/girlfriend showed up at the door-Yikes!! The Lord protected us and changed our minds about that one.
So, how did we get here, thirty-eight years later? Here being bliss. Here being really, really happily married and loving hangin’ out with each other and having FUN? Well, we make adjustments and allowances. We forgive a lot. We appreciate each other, and our differences. We cover each other’s back. Okay- so he leaves a pile of trash on the floor next to his chair, I put a trash thingy right where he drops it. Ta-Da! Problem solved. I freak out at the finances, he takes on the responsibility of paying bills (the Big Spender should, ya’ know).
This we know:
1. We will not change each other (God may-but that’s HIS business).
2. We will both make big mistakes (but how else do we learn?).
3. We will get through it.
Our business is to love each other deeply, pray for each other, and adjust, yield and bend -which are palatable way of saying, “we die to ourselves”. Is that a bad thing? In this day, it would seem so, but we are living proof that the outcome is being…BLISSED and BLESSED. Of course, we wouldn’t have that if we didn’t believe in longevity. And God.