Personalities make individuals unique. However, in marriage, sometimes a person's "ways" can work against establishing and maintaining a loving relationship with a spouse.
"My wife complained about my temper," Darryl, a local computer technician explained. "I told her that I had the same temper before we married. I still wanted her to understand that I loved her in spite of my temper."
Justifying behavior with statements such as "That is just the way I am" and "You knew this about me before you married me" are attitudes of the flesh that a spouse must pray to overcome if he or she is to dwell in a loving marital relationship.
Pastor Earl Wilson, a Jackson Marriage and Family Therapist, believes that even though conflict is healthy in relationships, it is not healthy when it leads to a cycle of one or both partners' refusal to change.
Darryl further explained that his wife began to tolerate his temper rather than accept it. In marriage, couples should strive for their spouses to accept their unique qualities, but couples should not expect their spouses to accept personality traits that are detrimental to a loving relationship.
Pastor Wilson further states that when rigid behaviors become more important than the relationship itself, couples stay in a pit of personality differences. "When we allow unhealthy relationship practices to foster rigid roles," Pastor Wilson says, "we are preventing intimacy and communication from happening."
In 2 Corinthians, the Lord's response to Paul is "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." In sum, the power of God works best when we are weak. If your area of weakness is speaking to your spouse in the wrong tone, His grace is sufficient for you. If your area of weakness is returning home from work and bringing your work woes home, His grace is sufficient for you. Christians are to seek God's grace in freeing His people from those personality quirks that challenge peaceful relationships in the home.
Consider one of Pastor Wilson’s favorite marital quotes: "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?”