Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Different Interests?

David Powlison is on staff at the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF), a premiere counseling center and part of Westminster seminary.  In a recent video he responded to a question posed by a concerned client.  The basic question went something like “how can my husband and I connect on a level that is meaningful to me?”   More specifically this woman’s husband had a somewhat stress filled job.  When he came home, on went the television and off went his brain.  He needed R & R (rest and relaxation).  She on the other hand was starved for adult conversation and attention.  She wanted to connect with her husband on an emotional level which meant no TV and some quality time to just talk.  She wanted TLC (tender loving care).

Powlison started out by stating the obvious. Most of us are attracted to our partner based on some level of compatibility, not clones mind you, but some common interests.  Once a couple is married they are forced to sort out those differences.  The differences might be due to gender, wiring and/or our past experiences.  Powlison was quick to make the point that we never intuitively revert to a wiring that is abnormal for us.  If one partner is an extrovert, who draws his energy from people and is highly desirous of being with people and his/her partner is an introvert, who is drained by social interactions and strongly prefers one-on-one time they will never naturally opt for doing what the other wants to do.

As part of God’s infinitely wise plan, He brings together two sinners, who are different by nature, saved by grace, and challenged by loving easily or well.

Ephesians 5:27 charges the husband with the responsibility of helping his wife to become holy and blameless, without stain, wrinkle or blemish.  The wife is to submit to her husband as the church (the bride of Christ) is to submit to Christ. This recognizes that the husband is not Christ and that the church, just like the wife is full of stains, wrinkles and blemishes.

We are each to become holy and blameless.  This cuts against the grain of who we are by nature.  The desire for rest and relaxation is a craving of the flesh.  It can be a good thing gone bad.  If the “fruit” is bad the desire is bad.  In other words rest in and of itself is a good thing but when my desire for rest trumps loving my wife it becomes bad.

To resolve such dilemma often calls for developing a practical plan.  By coming together with a desire to love one another and to seek God’s wisdom and mercy in the resolution of our differences we can most often find a compromise which honors both parties and God.

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