Opposites Attract


Do opposite styles in parenting cause conflict with your spouse? How can you overcome the differences?

Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Philippians 2:2

David and I (Teresa) are opposites in almost every way. He is laid-back, easygoing, and an "I'll deal with it later" type. I'm compulsive, a "let's deal with it now" person. There were a lot of years when I couldn't see David's personality traits as praiseworthy, much less share appreciation for them.

Our opposite natures surfaced when it came time to discipline the kids. My greatest fear was that David wasn't involved enough. He wasn't there all day with the kids, so how could he possibly know the circumstances? I was terrified that my "I'll deal with it later" husband would leave me alone to deal with misbehaving kids.

David saw his passiveness with the kids as a way to bring balance to my severity. The more strict I would get with the kids, the more laid-back he would become. This led to me and our kids feeling insecure, and David feeling trapped. Something had to change.

My husband and I needed to be like-minded and of one accord. In order for that to happen, I had to share my fears with David and then trust God to prompt him to be more involved with the kids. David had to tell me how his own father had been terribly strict and how that had produced incredible hurt for him. He had to tell me he didn't want that same pain for our kids and then trust God to prompt me to be caring and comforting with him and the kids.

David and I make a good team when we work together—united in mind, heart, and love. And I dare say that when that unity occurs, we bring joy to the Lord.

What are some of the differences between you and your spouse that can cause conflict, and what steps can you take to overcome those differences?

Father, I am grateful for Your wisdom and divine plan in giving me a spouse who complements me as a parent.

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