My husband is my best friend. We have been married for upwards of seven years (!), and with every day that passes I become more aware of God’s hand at work in bringing us together. Our love story is a special one, and recounting the earliest days of our relationship never ceases to bring a smile. What is really special about our union, though, is what God continues to do in us through each other. I suspect that’s probably true for most couples.
I am a writer. It is who I am more than what I do. I love, love, love the written word; the massive collection of books and journals by my bedside is a reflection of how incomplete my days would be without reading and writing something – anything. I often joke that should the second floor of our home ever collapse, it will be because of the books I have stacked willy-nilly up there. It’s not so good.
Surprisingly, my husband is okay with this little problem of mine. I say it is surprising because he does not share this interest. He is not a reader or a writer in any sense of the words. He owns three books – two Bibles and a devotional. (He tends to go more for quality over quantity in his reading selections.) He functions in the business-related world of numbers and invoices and purchase orders, and is more comfortable with numbers in columns than he is with words in paragraphs. Conversely, numbers make me want to curl into a ball and cry.
Sometimes he reads my blog, but more often he does not. He hears about what I have written over dinner on our dates, when it even comes up at all. Because I write so personally, he usually knows what I’ve written without me really ever telling him. If I tell him what I am dealing with – and because of our friendship, I tell him everything – he knows the content of my blog.
For a long time, it bothered me that my heart and soul was out there for him to read…and that he chose not to. I wanted him to anxiously await my newest post, soaking it in and discussing it with me later. I wanted feedback and because I value who he is as a person, I wanted his insight on what I wrote. I craved it. It wasn’t something I thought about every day or even every week, but I had a near-constant awareness that we had something drastically different in our makeup. To be honest, it hurt to think about it. At times, I have really questioned God’s intentions in putting us together.
“Why would you match us up like this, God?! This makes no sense. We’re so different. The thing I consider my life’s purpose is what he considers his greatest aversion. What gives? Why would you do this?”
I would settle my thoughts with the remembrance that we are meant to complete each other, not mirror one another. “God put us together because we are different,” I would remind myself. “What if he were a word nerd like you are, Jess? Who would handle our checkbook? Who would make sure we were taken care of for the future? Who would make sure you didn’t blow the year’s grocery budget with one trip to Sam’s?”
I was okay with that logic. It’s true, certainly, that when God placed us together, He intended to make up for my weaknesses with Scott’s strengths, and vice versa. (Most days, though, I see that Scott’s skills and conscientiousness cover my inadequacies in those areas more than I do with anything of his. I digress.)
I have recently come to understand something deeper in God’s plans for our differences, though. One day as I was
whining praying about how neglected I felt that my other half wouldn’t engross himself in my written words, God put me in my place.
“Jess,” I felt Him say to me, “if Scott hung on every word you wrote, do you really think you would still be writing for me?”
At first, I was offended. I write for God. That’s what I do, and I couldn’t see how what I do here could ever really be anything but an offering to the Lord. I gave it some thought, though, and I realized what God meant; the revelation changed everything.
If Scott read every one of my blog posts, I would eventually write for him. Because I do value his opinion and his insights so much, I would crave his approval more than God’s. When I posted anything new, I would sit and wait for his comments. What did he think of that one? Did he like it? I can’t wait to talk about it with him…
My tendency is toward people-pleasing in every area of my life. It’s no secret to God that I often worry more about what people think of me than I do about what He says about me. What’s more, the opinion of my husband is the opinion that matters most to me in this world. God knows how I can be and where I struggle and how dangerous it all could be for me, and He made allowance for those weaknesses when he paired me with Scott.
I have always known that God gave me just what I needed when he gave me Scott. I just never understood how deep it went. Today, I’m thanking God for His intimate knowledge of who I am and what I need….and for His patience with me when I think I know more than He does.
I say all of this not to boast in how lucky I am in my marriage (though yes, I do feel very lucky). I say all of this because I know well how it feels to throw a pity party over something God gave me: it’s not quite what I wanted or expected or would have chosen for myself. I say all of this because I know there are some out there for whom marriage is a battlefield, with two people living side by side who have little in common other than address and last name. I say all of this to give hope and inspiration to everyone out there who doesn’t quite feel that God knew what He was doing when He assembled their lives.
God knows what we need, because He placed those needs within us. The fulfillment of those needs may not come as we expect, but it is always, always, always a good thing. Always.