Freedom to Be Different


What steps can you begin taking today to begin accepting the differences between your spouse and you?

Christ has made us free. Galatians 5:1

I like coffee black; Teresa won't drink it without Sweet'n Low. I prefer the indoors; Teresa would rather be outside any time. I prefer to stay up late; Teresa is an early riser.

Isn't it amazing how different we can be from our spouses? Sadly, though, instead of accepting these differences, we often try to force "our style" on spouses as the correct way to do or be.

One of the toughest challenges in marriage is to accept and support our spouses' freedom to be different from us. I'm no exception. It's incon­venient at times to ask a waiter for Sweet'n Low. I'm tempted to say, "Teresa, if you'd just learn to drink it like I do..." I also don't like it when I've stayed up late and Teresa gets up at six o'clock to clean house. I often want to say, "If you'd stay up with me, you wouldn't be awake at the crack of dawn!"

But I've come to realize that God made my wife different from me and granted her the freedom to be who she is. Who am Ito try to take that freedom away or dismiss His carefully formed uniqueness?

When I see Teresa through the eyes of her Creator, I am less inclined to want her to change. God's handiwork gave Teresa her knack for fashion and ability to "work a crowd." God designed her preference for high activity and bent toward frequent change. Those characteristics are who Teresa is: God's one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

I've reflected often on how many of Teresa's characteristics are differ­ent from mine, and I've realized that those differences are reminders of the multifaceted talents of our Creator. He has made Teresa, and He has made her free indeed. And He just wants me to support His agenda.

What steps can you begin taking today to begin accepting the differences between your spouse and you?

God, help me support my spouse's freedom to be who he or she is.

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