All people are different.
For example, I am an introverted extrovert. Now, I know that doesn’t make much sense, but essentially for me it means that I like to be by myself, except when I don’t. I like to be with people, and I especially like to be included in things that are fun. Now my husband, on the other hand, is what I like to think of as an introverted introvert, meaning that he likes to be around people the bare minimum of acceptable or appropriate time. He recognizes that he must deal with people and be around people at work and other places; however, if socializing is not required, why do it?
You might see how this could create a certain amount of friction in our home. I use the word friction very lightly. For us, it’s not really an issue because we’ve found a middle ground that works most of the time.
However, holidays seem to be the time when these differences can really creep in and cause a disturbance in the home. Take two people with different personalities, backgrounds, and traditions and put them in the same home during holiday time and I can guarantee there will be some discussing that goes on.
The October Challenge
For us, nothing has proven more difficult than agreeing on festivities for the month of October. Call it what you will–Halloween, All Hallows Eve, The Day of the Devil–this day has proven to be a difficult one for our family to find any middle ground. My husband feels very strongly that we should be locked in our home with the lights off, watching movies and pretending that the rest of the world doesn’t exist during this day. For me, I see it as an amazing opportunity to have some serious fun with my kids!
We’ve been at this parenting thing for just over six years, and October 31st requires extensive discussion every single year. Don’t get me wrong, discussion is great. It means that both parties are open to voicing and hearing the other person’s opinion. However, it also means that there is obviously not a clearly defined answer to the question “What are we going to do this year for Halloween?”
Our wonderful church hosts a neat little get-together where the kids can (but aren’t required to) dress up and they get to play carnival games and eat popcorn and get candy and they love it. And I love it. And my husband tolerates it. No scary costumes are allowed and there are no scary elements. Other churches around town host other activities as well. But this always seems to bring up the discussion in our house about whether people in the church should really be participating in this “holiday” at all. That’s a long winding road that I am not going to traverse in this blog. However, it is just another point that comes up each year when we are trying to decide what to do!
But this again brings me to another point: finding a balance which can exist in the home among two different people with different minds, hearts, souls, and backgrounds. Each year we discuss extensively what’s on our hearts regarding this day. Each year we battle with ourselves and sometimes one another. Each year we find agreement and some middle, (or his side, or her side) ground that we rest on. And each year we live to see another year as a family.
God Intends Us to Love
So often small and simple conflicts seem to wedge themselves further between us and our loved ones. And for what? Sometimes it’s our own pride that gets in the way. Sometimes it’s the sting of the other person’s words. Sometimes it’s just plain and simple bitterness. But whatever it is that is driving a wedge between spouses, children and families, it’s not of God. One of the most popular verses from the bible can be applied here.
How those words can sting when we are not practicing them! Love does not insist on its own way. For me I have to really dwell on this verse when there are times of friction between my husband and I. There will always be things to discuss. There are always opportunities for disagreements, whether it be about holiday celebrations or bigger issues in life. The thing I have to remember is that God intends for us to love.
Do you ever find that you and your spouse have one particular thing that you can’t seem to agree on? How have you worked through it?
What scriptures inspire you to love those God has placed in your life?
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