In college, my friend introduced me to “Who are We Fooling” by Brooke Fraser. She said it reminded her of my relationship with Caleb. The lyrics of Brooke Fraser’s song seemed to mirror our relationship perfectly:
We tried and tried to loosen the knots
Thinking once we’re untangled we’ll be better off
But it’s these failures and faults that hold us together
At the time, Caleb and I had been dating for a few years. We came from such different backgrounds, we frequently found ourselves frustrated with one another. I was a city girl while Caleb was a country boy. Caleb caught lightning bugs in his backyard, but I never saw a live possum until the age of 25. My family of five rarely gives time for commentary, while he’s used to peace and quiet in his family of three. Then there are our personalities… The accountant who likes things to be organized, black and white and the advertiser who can rest in a mess and think in terms of multiple options. We were both Christians, but every other area of life seemed to cause fiery disagreements and unmet expectations.
I broke it off every once in a while for various reasons. But every time we broke up, it seemed like God kept pushing us back together over time. Four and a half years later, both of us finally realized God wanted us to remain together permanently. The very differences that frustrated us ultimately were the glue dots that God used to keep us together. Like a puzzle piece, I found that where holes existed in my personality, his personality filled them in perfectly. He complemented my weaknesses, and my strengths complemented his weaknesses.
The longer Caleb and I have been married, the more we realize that while we have a common goal of being in a healthy, life-lasting marriage, we have very different ideas on how to achieve this. We have different lifestyles, communication styles, and needs. At times our wavelengths do not line up. When he wants to watch TV, I want to work. When I want to go to bed, he wants to talk. When I want time alone to process frustration, he wants to talk it out.
Neither of us is wrong, we’re just different.
I need someone who encourages me to rest, and he needs a friend to work alongside. He needs to vent to a friend in order to decompress from the day, and I need to know what’s happening in my husband’s life. I need accountability to confront conflicts, and he needs to know how to allow others to process before they explode with half-truth, angry word vomit.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17
Don’t let your differences divide you. Let your differences unite you. God uses our differences to orchestrate harmonies in order to create the most beautiful song. Any tension of arguments simply allows moments for us to confront our shortcomings and challenge each other to overcome what previously haunted us. The very dissonance we previously experienced soon turns into a beautiful resolve. Learn to appreciate the differences in your spouse, because they are the very things God uses to weave you together. Celebrate your differences.
You can hear “Who are We Fooling?” by Brooke Fraser on YouTube.