One day when our girls were very young, I came home from work to find Debbie visibly exhausted and frazzled. The kids had completely worn her out. When I asked her how she was doing, she responded by saying, “The kids are still alive, so I’ve done my job!”
That frustrated little comment sent me into instant “fix-it” mode. “Well, what do we need to do? Should we put the kids in daycare? Should we hire someone to watch them? What about boarding school? Should we try that?!” I had totally missed her point.
Debbie wasn’t looking for me to fix it. She wasn’t looking for my solutions, she was looking for my shoulder to cry on. She just needed me to listen to her, commiserate with her, and give her comfort.
Nowadays when she approaches me with an issue, she’ll let me know upfront, “Now, I’m going to tell you something, and I don’t want you to fix it!” I sincerely appreciate the preface as it helps me know how to respond.
This story underscores the dramatic way in which God created the two sexes so uniquely different, with different abilities, different needs, and different ways of processing the world around us. But why the marked differences? God made men and women different so He could make them one!
In Genesis 2:23, Adam meets Eve for the very first time, and he is excited! He exclaims, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
To put this verse in the vernacular, Adam said, “Wow! This is it, God. This is my Mrs. Adam, the one I was looking for and longing for. She is like me … but not like me. She is the greatest companion I could ever imagine!”
I think the great philosopher Rocky Balboa described this relationship perfectly. He was asked why he was attracted to his future wife, Adrian. Rocky said, “She’s got gaps. I’ve got gaps. Together, we fill gaps.” Well said, Italian Stallion!
You see, God made men with gaps … and He made women with gaps. But when a man and woman come together, they fill those gaps.
My life was pretty good before I met Debbie. However, after I met her, it became very good. She brings so much joy … so much fun … and so much love and beauty to my life. She’s so different from me. But we come together and fill those gaps. I help her, she helps me—and that’s what marriage is all about. We are much stronger together than we could ever be apart.
So don’t worry that you’re so different from your spouse or significant other. Let those differences fill each other’s gaps as you turn your uniqueness into unity!