Different, Not Wrong

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
(James 3:13-18)

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
(Hebrews 12:14)

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
(Romans 12:18)

Strive for peace. Be open to reason. Live peaceably with all men. Those are directives from Jesus, and they apply to marriage, don’t they?

Are there occasions where you and your wife fuss about things that are really a matter of opinion? Dumb question, I know we all do that from time to time. How the house gets cleaned, and in what order…opinion. Whether the toilet roll feeds from the top or the bottom of the roll…opinion. Do you squeeze the tube of toothpaste it the middle of the tube or from the end of it? Opinion.

It may be that you have a very passionate and convincing argument as to why things have to be a certain way, and you may be absolutely convinced you are right, but what if your wife has a different opinion? What if she makes decisions that are different that what you think should be done?

We should ask ourselves, is it wrong, or is it just different?

Do we find ourselves bringing up our viewpoints often in various ways to remind our wives that we don’t like their opinions and ways of doing things? Are we making fun of and using sarcasm to take shots and how they are doing things different than what we would do? Is this a control thing for you that you need to get right with Jesus? If so, then the spirit of Christ needs to rule in our hearts. His peace must also reign supreme. I believe that if we are truly at peace with God, then someone else’s alternative opinions and approaches would not bother us so much.

Before we say something or bring up how our wives do something different and not in line with our approach to things, let’s come to the throne room of God and ask for His wisdom and peace in the matter. How about talking to a wise godly brother in Christ and consulting him privately about it? And by the way, don’t just pick someone you know will agree with you. 🙂

Different is just that, it’s different. It might make you irritable or uncomfortable, and it might even challenge you to restudy your own convictions. But different many times is not wrong.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
(1 Peter 3:7)

Adapting to Change

Adapting to change. Today we may reach 70 degrees here in Michigan and we are looking at possible snow tomorrow night. That’s Michigan for you. If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change.

I remember the first winter we were living here in Michigan. It was great, but I was ready for it to be over! So, here we are in April, it is 70 degrees on a Friday, and I start getting out the lawn chairs and the summer stuff from storage. Boy was I excited! On the following Monday, we had two inches of snow. Boy was I deflated! That snow melted really fast, but my attitude about it stayed even after the snow was gone.

Adapting to change

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…(Ecclesiastes 3:1)

There are seasons in life, Solomon said 3,000 years ago. Even in the days of Noah after the flood, God promised that there would always be seasons (Genesis 8:22).

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22).

My point with this is not about weather, but about life, of course. Things change. There is a time and a purpose for everything. Sometimes in life we have spring, full of promise and beginnings. Other times it is the dead of winter, cold winds, and blizzards. There are other occasions when it is like that weekend in April I mentioned, we are on top of the mountain and then it seems like someone shoved us from behind and we are rolling down to the valley. The reverse happens as well. You have a monsoon of a thunderstorm followed by a beautiful sunset and a rainbow.

How do you respond to change? Do we adapt well when our plans don’t work out like we expected? Am I the kind of person that curses the frigid temperatures, and then complains when it gets too hot? Do we get grumpy, rigid and inflexible when others try to bring up different ideas or other ways of doing things?

It is vital as men of God and leaders in the homes and churches that we be the kind of men who are flexible and adapt well to change.

Seasons change, God does not

Finally, I leave you with one passage from Hebrews about how things change but God does not. May we put our trust in that one simple concept.

And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end” (Hebrews 1:10-12).