God’s Design in Marriage • Devotion 4

The Way They Are
Pastor Ryan and Cathy Story

Have you ever looked at your spouse and thought (or said), “Why are you the way that you are?” While typically a rhetorical statement, sometimes we really do wonder why someone is acting the way that they are. What causes someone else, especially our spouse, to make the choices that they make? You may question why your spouse loads the dishwasher in the wrong way, or why they fold the towels wrong. In these situations, there really may not be a wrong way of performing that chore, but we often look at situations or tasks and have a mental standard of how it should be done. We get caught in a trap of thinking we know the right way of doing something and it can frustrate us to no end when a task or interaction does not go the way we believe it should.

It can become easy to look at someone else, often our spouse, and to be bothered by the choices they make. With a spouse, we may look at those differences and allow the conversations in our minds to lead us down paths that we are really just too different from them. We allow how a dishwasher was (or was not) loaded, or selecting different settings on the washing machine or dryer, to drive us to negative thoughts. Those small mundane tasks can transform into continuing these negative thoughts, and at times, starting to wish that our spouse would change. We reason that if they were just a little bit different, if they made decisions more in line with our own, then our problems would be gone. We would no longer be as frustrated, and we would most certainly be happier. Except, the grass is not always greener on the other side, it is greener where you water it.

When we start having those thoughts of how we wish our spouse would make different choices or decisions, or if they could just change this one thing about themself, what we are actually doing is questioning the way God made our spouse. Isaiah 64:8 says, “But no, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” All of those little nuances that bother you about your spouse are a reflection of the way God made them. The way your spouse thinks is a sum of the life situations that God has walked them through. In Song of Solomon 5:10, the bride says, “My beloved is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand.” Her beloved is different! He is distinguished among ten thousand.

We have to remember to rejoice in the differences and rejoice that God made our spouses just the way they are. That ultimately, God had a plan when He brought you and your spouse together, differences and all! This does not mean there will not be situations that frustrate you, but at that moment try to thank God for the differences and the special way he made your spouse. Try to find an opportunity today to thank God for the unique way He made you and your spouse, and that in His sovereign plan you two are together.
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