30 May 2016

How to Be a True Power Couple

My church offers a workshop that helps you discover your unique personality and gifts, which can then be used to find your perfect place in ministry. Through the online assessment, I realized my hubby and I have completely different personalities in the DISC profile. If you are familiar with that test, he has a lot of "D" and "I," whereas I have all "S" and "C." We also have completely different spiritual gifts. He is masterful in teaching and preaching, whereas I would never volunteer myself for public speaking. However, apparently one of my main gifts is encouragement, which is so perfectly matched for being a pastor's wife. They never receive any criticism, right? Ha!

At first, I was worried that our opposite personality results meant we were incompatible in some way. But that couldn't be further from the truth. I now see that in a marriage, it's best to specialize yourself so that together as a couple you get the benefits of the best traits from each person. Let me explain. For as long as we've been together, I've been the one to push the calendar. From the beginning of our relationship getting our dates on the calendar, to wedding planning coordination of schedules, to managing our day-to-day family operations, I'm big on using our google calendar. I don't know how people function without it! But to my surprise, hubby didn't seem to have the same appreciation for keeping his calendar items up to date like I did. And this messed up my schedule not knowing what I should be planning around. I tried explaining why it's so important. I tried giving him tips on how I pull up my calendar immediately when I receive an event invite so that I don't forget to add it later. I even tried nagging (I don't recommend this!). I thought he just didn't care, or worse - he wasn't keeping his calendar up to annoy me on purpose. I realize now how crazy that sounds, but maybe you can relate on some level.

I finally had an epiphany. Maybe I'm the only one that needs to be the one keeping up the calendar in our relationship. Maybe it's okay that he's not perfect in that area. Maybe that is something that I can offer to our relationship since it comes so naturally to me. And maybe, just maybe, my hubby brings a thousand other strengths to our marriage that I don't have. I can be "calendar girl" and he can be "fix-it guy." I can be the designated toilet paper roll changer extraordinaire since that is something I naturally notice needs to be done, and he can be the trash taker-outer. Don't act like you aren't excited to make up equally ridiculous role names for your own tasks! But just think about it. If you both had the exact same personalities, strengths, and interests, one of you would be redundant, and thus, unnecessary in the relationship.

Another way to look at it  - if you were going to start a small business, you would never just hire three accountants and call it a day. If you were the creative brains behind the operation you might hire one accountant, one business development person, someone else to do the tech side, etc. It makes you and your business stronger surrounding yourself with people that have different strengths to bring to the table. And you certainly don't need to chastise your tech person for not being creative. You have that covered already.

Thus, in a marriage, if you focus on the strengths that you each bring to your relationship and specialize yourself in those areas, you can be a true power couple. You will be stronger together than you are apart. Those differences can be exactly what make you extra powerful and successful in ministry, careers, your household, and other areas of life. So go ahead, release your spouse from those expectations that you already have masterfully covered, and rock those strengths that you have!

Which areas of your marriage do you excel at, that you can fully take on as "your thing"? What is an area that your spouse is skillful at that makes your life easier?

22 May 2016

The One Thing You Do That Is Secretly Hurting Your Husband

Early in our marriage, my husband and I were out at a friend's housewarming party. It was a beautiful, warm night and we were all sitting outside on the patio, enjoying the weather and great company. I made a good-natured teasing comment about my husband. Or so I thought. I noticed everyone was laughing except him. I quickly brushed it off since we joke with each other all the time at home. We continued to have a great time at the party, said our goodbyes, and left. Later at home, I was surprised when it came up again. He calmly and gently informed me that it didn't make him feel great that everyone was laughing at him from something his own wife had said. I assured him it was completely a joke without an ounce of truth to it, but he still stuck by his initial reaction that regardless of my intentions, he didn't appreciate it.

To be honest, I was slightly annoyed. His sense of humor was one of my favorite things about him, but where was it now? I figured he would just need to get over it, because clearly I wasn't being mean, I was just joking. How was this any different from all the times we tease each other at home? Regardless, it opened my eyes to start observing when it happened to other couples. Sure enough, and to my surprise, almost every time I saw a wife joking at her husband's expense or teasing him in public, he looked uncomfortable at best, and isolated and hurt at worst. 

It probably was no mistake that I soon stumbled across this verse. You know when you read something that is so convicting that you actually say "Ouch" out loud? Yup, that was me after fully realizing I needed to apply it in my life, especially in my marriage. Ephesians 4:29 says, 
"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."
Instead of building up the person who meant the most to me on this earth, I was isolating him. Instead of encouraging him, I was tearing him down. Instead of showing how much I admired and respected my husband, I traded a momentary laugh to side with others instead of being on my own husband's team. "Ouch" is right. It had taken me awhile but I finally understood my husband's plea and apologized.

How about you? What are your thoughts on teasing a spouse? Is it harmless fun that is okay for some couples or is it not worth the potential damage to a relationship? What are some other ways we can apply Ephesians 4:29 in our marriages?

16 May 2016

The Original Elevator Kiss

My hubby and I have a tradition that I absolutely love. Anytime we are on an elevator, we kiss. It could be a quick peck if there's people around, or when alone, I'm pretty sure we've made at least one security guard blush while monitoring the camera.

The point of this blog is to spark that passion for your spouse and keep it alive. Sometimes it takes hard work and sacrifice to keep a marriage in tact. Other times it can be as simple (and as fun) as a quick make-out session in an elevator.

Let's learn together, share ideas, and encourage one another in our marriages!

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