My post on 2/3/14 dealt with the importance of Christian unity. My follow up post on 2/25/14 made reference to the idea that love of any kind promotes unity. This post follows up with an example of how love can overcome differences.
Human nature being what it is, love is most likely to develop when we first see what we have in common with someone else. If we make love a priority and then a necessity, eventually love is able to survive some differences, too. In fact, a combination of the two can make the strongest bonds. We see this in successful marriages. In addition to similarities such as common interests and beliefs that are shared, there are complimentary differences that help divide the tasks of life. When the first two are in place and highly valued, then the marriage partners are able to maintain love for each other both despite and because of their differences that aren’t so complimentary.
It just so happened that a perfect example of overcoming personality differences in a marriage was related to me as I was writing this post. It involved my cousin and her husband who have been married for many years. Both of them have a very positive Christian testimony by the way they live their lives.
My cousin is in the process of taking care of the personal effects of a neighbor who passed away recently. Her husband works for a charitable organization that accepts donations of clothing and household items. This past Thursday, she asked her husband if the organization will do a pick up if there is a large amount of items. He told her, “Yes.” Then she asked if it could be done the next day. He said, “No, it isn’t possible.” She then asked the same question a few different ways. Soon her husband started getting annoyed and told her, “You’re not listening to me. It can’t be done tomorrow.”
My cousin, the multi-tasking female, comes away from the conversation thinking that it if it can’t be done the next day, she’ll work on something else more pressing and pack up the items to donate closer to when it can be picked up. Her husband, the one task at a time oriented male, at some point is thinking about how much it sounded like his wife really wanted it done the next day. Because this is the way he would do things, most likely he assumes that she wanted it picked up the next day because she had most or all of the items packed, catalogued and ready to go. So when he gets to work, wanting to please his wife, he makes a great effort to arrange for a pick up that day, even though it normally isn’t done that way. And he succeeds.
Unfortunately my cousin was nowhere near being finished with what needed to be done for it to be picked up. But she knew that had he told her it could be picked up the next day, she would have told him a time that would have comfortably allowed her to complete the task and have it ready for pick up.
So the next day, when my cousin is in the car with another neighbor on their way to do something, she gets a call from her husband that the truck will be there in thirty minutes to pick up the donation. She whips the car around and heads back to her neighborhood and frantically starts getting everything ready for pick up. It was far more rushed than she normally would do things. But it was accomplished.
There are some couples who would have gotten into a heated argument about this situation that developed. Hard feelings would have resulted and lingered until either they got out of control or the couple could find a way to patch things up. My cousin and her husband may have discussed the incident afterwards. But with a marriage that has stood the test of time, they love each other enough and know each other well enough that both had the best intentions. The miscommunication and mix-up occurred simply because they do and see some things differently, not because they don’t love and care for each other enough.
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another … – 1st Peter 3:8 (portion)