Sunday, February 21, 2016
I Love You.... but You Drive Me Crazy
VIVE LA DIFFERENCE!
May I ask you some personal questions?
Do you roll to toilet paper off the top front of the holder, or the bottom from the back? What about your toothpaste, do you carefully roll the tube toward the spout, or squeeze it?
Have you ever been in an argument with a family member about which one of these ways is correct, or an argument over a similar issue?
One of the phrases we hear a lot in relationships is that opposites attract, and it can be observed in many a marriage relationship. One person is an early bird, while the other is a night owl. One loves to go to travel and to go to social events, while the other is a homebody. One operates carefully with a budget in a very thrifty manner, while the other can’t keep money in his wallet. One is outgoing and bubbly, the other is reticent and shy. One is very talkative, and the other a “man of few words.” One is a shouter and thrower when angry, and the other quietly withdraws until able to calm herself down instead. Do any of those sound familiar? I could illustrate from lots of couples I know, and which characteristics are those of the male and which those of the female varies.
Kind of interesting, isn’t it, that so often we choose people who are polar opposites from ourselves in many ways. Sometimes I wonder if all the dating sites, where we list what characteristics are in important to us in potential spouse, take into account this attraction of opposites. I also wonder how many people go into divorce court because they have a hard time with these opposite characteristics that had once so attracted them.
Personally, I think sometimes God designed that attraction on purpose. For instance, the person who is careless with money may end up in bankruptcy court or worse, if their habits weren’t tempered by a partner who brings balance back toward the budget. On the other hand, the person obsessed with the budget may learn how to lighten up and enjoy life a little more. An introvert will develop more new friends when partnered with an extrovert, and the extrovert may learn the value of solitude and quiet. I think God uses these polar opposites to help strengthen us in the areas of life where we are not as gifted - through the tempering process that comes from negotiation and compromise in a marriage. At least, it will for those willing to negotiate, compromise and grow, for those who recognize that “my way” and “the right way” are not necessarily the same things. As far as I can tell, toilet paper comes off the roll effectively whichever side it is pulled from! The trouble is, all too often many of us are unwilling to see the validity of a different way of doing things.
The idea for this blog came when I was reading a book that made reference to Paul’s comments in 1 Corinthians about different gifts and functions among people, then illustrated it by referring to Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple.” The writer noted that Felix is an organized neatnik and Oscar a discombobulated slob, but then the writer pulls another scripture as a proof text and admonishes the slobs to learn organization skills from the Felixes of the world! Hmmm. In every portayal of that play I have ever seen, it seems to me there were plenty of things Felix needed to learn from Oscar, too, right? I’m guessing the writer of that book I was reading is a Felix, and the kind of Felix who is unable to see the value of the Oscar types in the world.
I don’t have a major point in all this, except to challenge you to consider the people around you in life, especially those who “drive you nuts” because they do things in a different manner than you.
As you think of those people and those characteristics, could you possibly consider that perhaps God has placed them into your life so that YOU could learn a different way, too---not merely for you to show them your way?
Or maybe just for you to learn it’s okay for people to do some things in different ways. At least when it comes to toilet paper and toothpaste!