I believe I’ve mentioned once or twice that I am a tiny bit OCD. I have never been extreme, but I do like the bed to be made a certain way. I like the dishwasher to be organized to maximize efficiency. I like pictures to be straight on the walls, cans to be lined up in the cabinets (although they don’t have to all have the labels facing the same direction), and some symmetry to exist in furniture placement.
My husband, on the other hand, doesn’t even notice many of these things. He is so observant when it comes to the needs of others. He can pick up on gaps in information or read between the lines in ways my brain cannot even begin to process. But, a wrinkle in the bedspread, towels or clothes folded in haphazards manners, or a streak on the windshield does not even merit a second glance.
I decided long ago that my OCD needed to take a chill pill, and I needed to be okay with the imperfections that might typically drive me nuts. It is really okay. Really, really.
But, I missed one important fact when I decided to reign in my perfectionism. I forgot that God made me that way. I forgot that it is part of who I am. And I forgot that it is not all bad. I allowed myself to feel embarrassed because I do like things to be just so. And I would try my hardest to ignore things instead of fixing them.
Getting over my obsessions is a good thing, especially if it means that my husband does not feel constantly criticized because he doesn’t do things “my way.” But, if I stifle who God created me to be, there is no way I can truly walk in the Spirit, exhibiting His fruit in my life, and allowing Him to use me to the fullest.
And I also cannot be the wife He created me to be.
Now, let’s turn this around a little bit and consider our spouses. Who has God made them to be? What are their natural tendencies? What do we stifle in their personalities by simply making their way of doing things seem inferior to ours? How often do we complain instead of rejoicing over the fact that they see the world a little differently?
Better yet, let’s consider this: How can we encourage our spouses today to be who God made them to be? How can we express ourselves and our own personality quirks without demeaning our spouses? How can we both bend a little to come together even in our differences? And, most importantly, how can we use our differences to work together for the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
We are different by design. But, God created us to be compatible in our differences. He did not join us together with our spouses with the idea of one personality changing to be like the other. He intended for us to meld our unique characteristics into one new creature.
And that, my friends, is why my way really is okay. And so is his.