Does Your Spouse Have a Different Spiritual Personality?

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“He’s a Peter” they’ll say. “More like Naomi than Ruth” they might suggest. It’s pretty commonplace to compare people we know with Biblical characters.

You’ll also often hear people described by their gifts. “She’s a prayer warrior,” you’re told. “If you need someone to coordinate VBS, talk to him!”

We talk this way about love languages, talents, and character traits. We describe each other by these things in order to distinguish who’s good at (and for) what. The trouble is, we often also judge each other in much the same way.

Few relationships in life draw this out in the open more than marriage. When you’re hitched to somebody (and hopeful that you’re equally yoked!) it’s easy to start drawing conclusions about your spouse’s spiritual life.

Ever been there? Ever chastised your husband for never speaking up at Bible study or offering to pray? Maybe you’re gentler…maybe you just think and pray that he would live his faith more openly and apparently.

Been there. My husband once had an (awkward) conversation with me about why it seemed like I was constantly pressuring him to pray together. As it would turn out, he didn’t like that I’d ask questions about his prayers or suggest that he missed certain people or things that I thought he should be mentioning to God.

Yup. I was critical of even his prayers.

Thankfully, I’m married to a very gracious guy.

He forgave me and we explored a concept I (embarrassing to admit) had not really thought about before: we have different spiritual personalities.

Just like we have different love language and unique preferences, we also have different ways of relating to the Lord and to others in light of the Lord. Those differences are born of our gifts, our character traits, our struggles, and even where we’re currently at with Christ.

It seems we often think that any way but our way is wrong. It’s not always that things have to go according to our plan or to work toward our benefit. Sometimes, we mistake “the way God asked me to do this” for “the way God says to do this.”

There are some issues in which God’s will and way is clear. Not lying, for instance. Valuing prayer, for example. But Christ didn’t say that husbands and wives have to make a list of people to pray for and every night for ten minutes read it out loud in prayer intermixed with “yes, Lord.”

Differences are just that –differences. Your spouse, your best friend, and your children may all have different spiritual personalities. That’s no cause for concern.

Take the time to observe and learn how others relate to the Lord. “People learn from one another, just as iron sharpens iron.” –Proverbs 27:17

Remember in all things to be gracious and discerning as well. There may be a spiritual habit you need to challenge a loved one on someday, but your “only one way to do this” attitude may be that very habit!

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8 thoughts on “Does Your Spouse Have a Different Spiritual Personality?

  1. womenwithintention says:

    Unfortunately my husband had to point it out to me that just because we worship differently it didn’t mean that one was wrong. Great post! Pinned! Thanks for linking up at Women With Intention Wednesdays! I look forward to what you’ll share tomorrow!

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  2. Winter says:

    What a great post! I realized this about my husband from something an older gentleman said at church (about being on time/early and sitting down quietly for service) at first I thought I’m lucky to get out the door with 2 young kids let alone be early then I realized how we view that aspect of worship differently. Which lead me to how my husband views God/worship/prayer life differently! Your neighbor at #lifegivinglinkup

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    • mbethany says:

      So wonderful how things that other people say can spur us to thinking more deeply, like that older gentleman’s comments to you! Blessings to you and thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. loisflowers says:

    Bethany, it only took me about 19 years to sort of figure this out! Ironically (or maybe not) it dawned on me through conversations with a good friend whose personality is quite similar to my husband’s. I realized I was very accepting of the way she processed and viewed things because she was my friend, but when it came to my husband, I wanted him to be just like me because it would just be easier! Thank you so much for your wise words! I’m so glad I found you at #TellHIsStory.

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    • mbethany says:

      Lois!

      So glad to “meet” you too : ) Amen! I’ve often found that some of my best friends share certain traits in common with my husband more than with me -must be I’m really fond of certain traits : P And it is so much easier to accept friend’s differences at times, thanks for that reminder! Blessings : )

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  4. kristen says:

    This is a great post for me! My hubby and I are very different, so of course we would be different in our relationship with God. And God is big enough to relate to all of us! Visiting from #tellHisStory.

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    • mbethany says:

      Kristen,

      Absolutely He is! Parents relate differently to each of their kids and that’s not wrong at all : ) Blessings!

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