I (Justin) was on a mission. The mission: find a girl I could date in a serious relationship. You see, I grew up in a family where the advice was always, “Don’t date anybody you don’t believe you could spend the rest of your life with.” I lived by that advice, and due to this, my previous relationships that were considered “dating” all lasted less than 6 weeks.
And there, at a music festival of all places, I found Megan. Over a 3-4 day span of time I came to acknowledge that she was everything I desired in a woman.
1) She was of a similar faith/belief background.
2) She was beautiful, and charming, oh so charming.
3) She was interested in what I had to say. She actually listened to me intently.
4) She allowed me to be vulnerable and yet she still wanted to spend time with me.
5) She liked music…and she liked many of the same artists I did!
6) I discovered we had lots in common! “You mean you brush your teeth, too! Wow, that’s amazing!”
Months after we married, I began to realize that 1-4 were still pretty high up on the list. And these things haven’t changed. 5 & 6, however….not so much.
Honestly, if we listed out all of our differences you may find it amazing that we got together in the first place. One area of differences is music. You see, music has also been a real joy of mine and I married someone who was a music major in college. But here’s the thing, today, Megan rarely listens to music. And as for “things in common”, brushing our teeth is still on the list, but we know our interests are completely different. There isn’t one thing (outside of writing this blog, and watching tv) that we both want to do together. If you talked with her for a full hour and then talked with me for a full hour you’d discover that our interests and hobbies are polar-opposites.
But here’s the thing, it works perfectly. And the reason it works so perfectly is because we’ve come to recognize our differences complement one another. My strengths overshadow her weaknesses and her strengths overshadow mine. We are truly, “one flesh”.
You may be someone who doesn’t believe in God. If so, I believe this next point is still relevant. The bible describes a marriage as 2 people becoming one flesh. In the eyes of God, once two people are married, they are no longer two people, but a single unit. Joined as one in sexual intercourse. United as one in all aspects of marriage. One entity. One person. One relationship. One.
Every decision I make impacts her, and every decision she makes impacts me. And after nearly 12 years of marriage, we continue to realize it’s our differences that make our marriage stronger. It’s our differences that makes our “oneness” complete.
Regarding sex, sex is the constant reminder that joy is found in our differences, not our similarities. Sex, you see, is the most joyous part of marriage. Yet when a couple lies down to “connect” they are revealing everything about themselves. All of their inadequacies, all of their vulnerabilities, everything that is different about one another is openly revealed. Yet it’s in such a moment as this – and what a joyful moment it truly is! – that the reminder for all married couples is clear: It is our differences that make us complete. It is our differences that make us whole. It is our differences that give us such tremendous joy and satisfaction. It is our differences that help us know we are one.
How do you find joy in the differences between you and your spouse?