Recently, Bob and I had a chance to present “Embrace Your Differences” at a Rotary luncheon. Of course, we had to shorten it significantly. I had several other deadlines I was working on, plus I knew I’d be gone the week before. So, I was feeling a time crunch. When I have something to do, I want it done; I want it done well; and I want it done in advance. Bob, on the other hand, is “The Big Idea Guy.” He just loves to think. And he’ll continue thinking until the very last minute and then wing the presentation if necessary.
So I sat down with paper and pencil in hand ready to jot notes. Bob stood in the middle of the living room and began to wax philosophical: “What is the central purpose of this talk?” “How do we provide the audience with a new and different look at their differences?” “What is the end result we’re looking for?”
“No! No! No!” I wasn’t saying it out loud—but I was screaming it in my head. “These aren’t the questions for today! These were the questions for a month ago! Today we need to nail this baby down!”
I was so frustrated that I started praying. “God, could You just write Bob a little note—maybe on a brick—and tell him we need to get on with this?!” Instead, God initiated a little conversation with me: “What did you say your presentation was about?” I suspected He wasn’t really looking for information.
“Embracing your differences.”
“And what was it you were going to say about that?”
“That differences shouldn’t be a problem; they should be an asset. They should make you a stronger team.”
“I see. And how would you say these differences make you and Bob stronger?”
Don’t you just hate that. . . “Well, I guess that I make sure we stay on schedule, but Bob makes sure the presentation is deeper and more meaningful.”
Whether you view your spouse’s differences as a painful problem or the makings of a potent partnership really is a matter of perspective.
This article was originally published on The Marriage Dance blog on February 13, 2012.