Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
By: Betsy St. Amant Haddox
Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. - 1 Corinthians 10:24
Marriage is between two different people—obviously. But sometimes, it can seem as if marriage is between two very different people. The old adage “opposites attract” proves true more often than not. That’s what keeps things interesting! You might not argue as much if you were married to someone just like you, but it would sure make your life boring if you were.
I personally believe God matches up couples that are opposites in order to bring sanctification to each party. Our spouses tend to sand down our rough edges and round out our sharp corners. This process isn’t typically conflict-free or painless, but it's often necessary for our holiness. Think how’d selfish we’d become if we weren’t having to frequently die to self and honor our spouse.
Maybe your differences are simple. Perhaps he likes to hunt you and you like to read, so on Saturdays, you curl up with a good book while he curls up in a tree stand. But have you ever thought about going with him? (I know, I know) Seriously though, extending an invitation to your spouse to join you, or accepting their invitation to join them, is a significant act of love and selflessness in marriage.
Maybe you like basketball games and he’d rather do anything else than watch people dribble a ball down a court. Or perhaps it’s the difference of one of you is a homebody, and the other wants to be social and go on double-dates every weekend.
Who ends up compromising the most?
When we go outside our comfort zones to show support to our spouse, it shows our devotion to them. It doesn’t mean you’re going to love what you’re doing—but it’s a gesture that won’t be forgotten. (and hey, you might discover you like axe-throwing, fishing, or basket-weaving more than you expected you would!)
Of course, there might be some hobbies that are best left solo. Don’t assume you have to do every single little thing together. Couples need individual time as well, to rejuvenate and refuel. Constant togetherness isn’t the goal—shared interests are.
Don’t stop at hobbies! Consider your spouse’s preference when it comes to what restaurant to pick, which movie to watch, and which foods to cook at home. Maybe you feel like you’re the one always doing this, and your spouse rarely reciprocates. If so, there’s a word from the Word for you about that. Romans 12:10 (ESV) Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Outdoing one another—seems to me that’s a pretty clear instruction to not give up. Keep demonstrating this act of selfless love, and I bet your spouse will begin to take the hint and do the same.
Remember, it’s not about keeping score, but about strengthening your relationship by dying to self and honoring your spouse. When a spouse makes an extra effort to show interest in what his/her spouse cares about, there’s usually a result of laughter, quality time, and a freshly strengthened bond. And that’s a win-win.
Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of fifteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her drummer of a hubby, two story-telling young daughters, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of pickle chips. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. When she's not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha. Look for her latest novel with HarperCollins, LOVE ARRIVES IN PIECES, and POCKET PRAYERS FOR FRIENDS with Max Lucado. Visit her at http://www.betsystamant.com./
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