Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Competitive Spirit

by Aleta Kay

          When Tom and I first met I was very insecure and felt that I was inferior to almost everyone. He was (and still is after 40 years of marriage) good looking, quiet, reflective, confident but not cocky. He was sure of himself. He needed to be needed and I needed someone who would love me the way I was (a mess).
          All of that was great at first, but after a while the person who needs to be needed begins to feel drained because the other person, by nature, is self-centered and still needy. This is when the problems begin.
          I’ve always been good at English and grammar and terrible at just about everything else. Tom is good at math, logic, science, putting things together, finding out how things work. But he’s terrible at spelling, English, grammar, and related subjects. We complement each other very well. He handles the finances (I can balance the checkbook, but anything more complicated than that is his territory) and I do the spelling if he needs help, and the letter writing.
          I used to feel so inferior to him and his whole family. I would compare my weaknesses with his strengths and constantly put myself down. This would often lead to arguing, not because he felt superior, but because it hurt him to see me do this to myself and know there was nothing he could do about it.
          Marriage is not a competition to see who is smarter, better, faster, more gifted or talented. It is about blending the weaknesses and strengths of each other in order to be fitly joined together in harmony.
If you are one of those women that puts your husband down because you feel inadequate or inferior, think about what you’re doing to him. Love does tear down (including yourself); it builds up. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. This is primarily to teach us how to exhibit love to others, but can also be applied to ourselves. We are not to love ourselves to the point that we think we are better, smarter, prettier, etc., but we are to love ourselves enough to be able to think of others first, to be able to give love to those who don’t know how to love themselves.
          Permanent change can only come from God the Holy Spirit, as He comes to live in your heart after you have asked Jesus to save you from your sins and make you more like Him. Since Jesus taught me to accept the strengths He has given me, and to recognize that my weaknesses are there so I may be fit for someone else whose strengths and weaknesses are opposite mine, we have a peaceful home and a fabulous relationship with each other and with our God. Try it; you’ll like it.

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