I get lots of daily devotion type emails/articles, and this one came the other day (at a good time). Read it and then come back, or read this then go read it…don’t worry it opens in a new tab when you click it, you’re welcome.
I will agree that it sounds like a good idea to agree…but it’s not easy. Lucky for
me us, she doesn’t say (nor does God) that we have to agree, we should try to disagree peacefully and with an open mind though. Case in point, and I’ll use me and Big Daddy as an example, there have been, on more than one occasion, times where we did not agree (shocker, I know). During these times, he likes to use the phrase “agree to disagree” and I can’t stand it and he sort of pushes the idea on me, ever so nicely.
I don’t agree to disagree, I think that you don’t like my point of view and you don’t feel like listening to what I have to say anymore and that you have not wrapped your mind around the rightness of my theory yet. I’ll agree to that. However that’s just too much to say so he agrees to disagree, tells me he loves me and that we are done talking…which just pisses me off more. Because it never fails that he’s not done talking and he waits about 30 seconds to 5 minutes and says “I just want you to know that I get what you are saying, but…” The BUT is usually where I stop him and say “if you said we are done talking about it, and you interrupted me, then you don’t get to keep talking, we are done.” This brings up either him saying “well wait,” and me getting
more mad or him getting mad because I called him on it. It’s become a common dialogue. Because when we disagree (which is not the norm), we do it very adamantly or “passionately,” as he puts it. We also agree very often and say it totally differently (I’m blogging on that topic next), which makes it a very heated disagreement because we don’t listen to what the other is saying. So, we aren’t a perfect couple…we are however, very in love and respect each other enough not to blow the marriage over differences of opinion.
Now, Joyce brings up a point I really hadn’t totally taken into consideration. We are different for a reason. I mean, I’ve thought about it in other instances of our marriage.
- Physically strong/less strong
- Only shaves on days I/clean the sink
- Loves to kiss and snuggle/love to kiss and snuggle (SCORE! – I’m just bragging on that one)
- Can say he is wrong/isn’t ever wrong (kidding, I’m wrong once in a while)
- Cooks breakfast/cooks dinner
- Likes Metal, Rock, Loud annoying…/likes top 40, rap, 80’s, Celine Dion etc.
- Wants to live in the Arctic (and keeps the house at that temperature)/would use a fireplace year round
- Sleeps better in silent darkness/needs the tv
- Cleans without being asked/has never not cleaned this much in her life
- Pushes me to listen when I don’t want to/tells him when I don’t think he’s right
- Pepper (LOTS)/Salt
As you can see, we are very different, and those are all true, but meant to be funny and show how two very different people can still be right for each other.
Back to Joyce, she encourages us to embrace that God puts two people in a marriage (if it is truly ordained by God) to uplift and support, to challenge and help one another to grow, it’s not always smooth sailing and roses. Sometimes growth entails hearing that there are other options or other possible paths than the one you think is right or would normally take. Joyce says:
Many wars are started in our homes over unimportant issues that don’t matter, such as whether to turn left or right out of the neighborhood when both streets go to the same store. If you want to have power in your marriage and in your prayer life, then you have to get along. You can learn how to “disagree agreeably” without causing strife.
Healthy marriages are not comprised of two people that think, act, speak, dream, love, argue, clean, live, sleep, and mirror each other. Healthy marriages are those that challenge each partner to be more than they are, learn something new, admit there may be a
teeny, itty, bitty, small chance to do something a little more effectively than previously thought of, or a different way to deal with a certain issue.
The Jerry McGuire writers had it all wrong, no one should “complete” anyone. If they do, you’ve got more issues than I can cover in this paragraph. God puts us together to compliment each other, not complete each other. I hate hearing that “marriage is 50/50,” or “two halves make a whole” – that just screams underachiever when you’re referring to marriage.
Two halves make one whole person, my good and bad half, his clean and messy half, my wrong and wronger half, his goofy and serious halves, those are halves that make a whole person. You cannot put two halves of two different people into a marriage and expect to have a complete marriage.
When you add two WHOLE people in a marriage, you have so much more to work with, much more to balance the differences and much more opportunity to appreciate what it is you are lacking on your own side.
I am learning, through our disagreements, that Big Daddy was given to me to make me shut up and listen, and to point out that I don’t know it all, despite how well I’ve
done up until meeting up with him again.
I hope/think he is learning that even though it comes across as “forceful opinions” I do really have his best interest in mind when I tell him I don’t agree, or he’s not dealing with something correctly, or that I think he’s not on the right path with his take on something.
I hate seeing him upset, overwhelmed, frustrated, unable to concentrate, sleep etc. I try to let him know that his way of seeing things isn’t always on par with what I see and that there is another option. It isn’t always received well, but I’m in no position to balk at that when I can’t say I’m sorry.
Hopefully we’ll learn further that disagreeing doesn’t mean one of us is wrong, but that we both are right to not cave to the other persons thoughts just so we don’t fight. I’d hate him to not get to be himself, and I’d really hate not getting to voice my opinion just so we don’t create a ripple.