One thing I delight to see displayed in my marriage is how we complement each other. The Bible instructs that the husbands and wives have complementary roles in marriage: As per Ephesians 5, a husband is to sacrificially love his wife and a wife is to sacrificially respect her husband.
As God works in our hearts, we grow and mature into our respective roles. Furthermore, I’ve noticed how we complement each other, not only in our respective husband and wife roles, but simply as individuals.
In areas of difference, we have a choice to let conflict brew or to let God bring us into greater closeness to him and greater unity with each other. We are choosing the latter. Here are three snippets about us that celebrate our differences:
We Complement Each Other’s Personalities
I am, without a doubt, an introvert. I thrive on self-reflection, deep conversations and intimate friendships. On the other hand, George flourishes on social relationships. He is a social butterfly; he unabashedly loves to meet new people and though he’ll never admit it, he loves to be the life of the party.
As we grow and mature, we have been able to use our different personalities to support each other.
For example, I am a listener and an observer. I am naturally good at “reading people” and am emotionally sensitive to others’ needs. I’ve only recently learned that not everyone is like this. As George engages with people, whether it be his peers, mentors, mentees or even strangers, I am able to provide my perspective on how the other may be reacting (which he is more often than not blind to see): Maybe he doesn’t like that you talk so much. Did you notice that he seemed sad – ask him what’s wrong. This friend has asked you numerous times to meet up – shouldn’t you follow up?
We Complement Each Other’s Strengths
My greatest strength is, without a doubt, being organized.
George’s is most definitely not. He regularly experiences the wrath of my fury as we wait a few minutes longer at the door as he frantically searches the house for his phone and wallet. Why not put it in the same place every time?
On the other hand, George is a visionary. I am not; I am safe and uncomfortable with risk and change. There have been many times when I have fallen short as I trample on his dreams.
As we grow and mature, we have been able to use our different strengths to support each other. We combine our strengths to collaborate on practical tasks and goals, whether it be budgeting, hosting a dinner party, or parenting.
Even the idea of starting a blog together was birthed from George’s musings. Since I hopped on board, I have been able to contribute by developing our ideas into coherent blog posts and strategically planning our overarching blog schedule.
We Complement Each Other’s Spiritual Habits
For Christians, grace versus good works is a familiar topic of discussion. The Bible is crystal clear that it is by God’s grace that we obtain salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9).
However, James exhorts us to good works because they are the fruit (or evidence) of salvation by grace (James 2:26). For the saved sinner, it is a constant balancing act to live in grace and faith.
When I struggle with my faith, I am prone to fall too much on God’s grace. I relate to Paul’s rhetorical question in Romans 6:1: Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? The answer is no. However, in times of weakness I find myself answering “sure, why not. God will forgive me.”
On the other hand, when George struggles in his faith, he is like the Pharisee who tries to justify himself with good works. He forgets that works are not to earn God’s favour. This difference in our personal spirituality has caused much friction in our conversations and in our behavior.
As we grow and mature, we have been able to use our different tendencies to support each other.
I challenge George to step back and pursue God with stillness of heart when I notice he becomes too consumed with “doing”. In times when I am idle, George will remind me that God’s grace is transformative and bears the fruit of good works. I cannot just sit still.
Am I the only one who finds this to be humorous? Our God is big and mighty and yet He is attentive to the smallest details. He uniquely designed George and I; then He placed us together, strengths, weaknesses, quirks and all. It was not by accident but for our sanctification and for His glory.
We trust that God made it possible for two opposite and sinful people to be in unity (see our previous post on unity) and we will strive to use our differences to serve God as a team. We acknowledge that this marriage is not just for ourselves but it is to be a testimony of Christ to the world.
How do you complement your wife or husband? Tell us a story below of how this plays out in your life!