More on Accepting Differences, Marriage Message 111

"There are three major things men and women often misunderstand about each
other: (1) That we're different. (2) That the differences are from God.
(3) That the differences exist to balance each other." (Unknown)

This week we're revisiting the subject of accepting each other's
differences as husband and wife. The text for this message (in edited
form) comes from a book, "Marriage: Experience the Best" by Dr. Steve
Stephens (which unfortunately is no longer in print). We're gleaning some
of the ideas conveyed, building upon last week's points, hoping they'll be
helpful. Please look through the list below to assess which approaches
apply to you and your spouse, realizing that one style isn't right and the
other wrong (unless they violate moral/biblical principles) --they're just

- SCURRIERS VS. AMBLERS: SCURRIERS are always busy. They're on the move
from dawn to dusk, racing from one point to the next. Speed and
efficiency are their watchwords--accomplish as much as you can as fast
as you can. They're similar to the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland who's
constantly checking his pocket watch and then rushing off to some very
important appointment. AMBLERS take their time. They don't let the rapid
pace of our modern world push them. They set their own pace; they look
and listen; they relax and play. They might not do as much, but they
enjoy what they do.

[The author admits he's a Scurrier and his wife is the Ambler. But he
eventually realized they could both help each other in their approaches
to life. As he said, I need to slow down and look at the lilac bushes
more often. Tami's Ambling helps me to relax and enjoy life more. She
encourages me to take my time and savor the moment. It's a good balance;
I slow down and she speeds up. In the process we've both come to
appreciate and accept each other's different paces."] Do you recognize
yourselves as having either of these qualities?

- "THINKERS VS. FEELERS: THINKERS focus on seeking facts and principles.
They base decisions on objective data and everything else is irrelevant.
If they step on somebody's feelings, then that's just the way life is.
Truthfully, they probably didn't even notice the impact they had.
Thinkers tend to be task oritented and often see Feelers as overly
concerned with pleasing others. FEELERS focus on people and emotions.
They focus on their heart as they seek peace and harmony and want
everybody to be happy. They base decisions on subjective information and
show great concern about the impact on others. They tend to be
relationship oriented and often view Thinkers as insensitive.

"In our culture, 75 per cent of men are Thinkers and 75 per cent of women
are Feelers. Keep in mind that Thinkers have feelings and Feelers do
think. It's just that they process situations with a different focus.
Which one of these traits do you have? What about your spouse?

[In working this out in your marriage keep in mind that "the head can
easily hurt the heart and the heart often appears irrational to the head.
Like so many differences, balance is they key. Truth without sensitivity
can be cruel even a sensitivity without truth can be misguided
sentimentality. We need both truth and sensitivity."]

- "DREAMERS VS WORKERS: DREAMERS are creative people who love to come up
with ideas. They're optimistic and oriented toward the future. They can
drive workers crazy and frequently have their head in the clouds;
whereas Workers have their feet firmly planted on the ground. Dreamers
say, 'Workers are stuck in a rut and have no vision. They're wet
blankets who emphasize the negative and tell me why something won't
work. ' WORKERS are practical. They like to take other people's ideas
and make them happen. But they also tend to be pessimistic and focus on
the present. They can drive Dreamers crazy and discourage them. One
Worker said, 'She comes up with all these great projects, but never
follows through and puts them into action.'"

[Dr. Steve Stephens says he's a Dreamer who loves to come up with new
ideas where his wife Tami, is a Worker. But they've learned to make it
work for them in their marriage.] When "I tell her about my latest idea
Tami has learned to humor and help me. She listens to my ideas then
tells me what she thinks will work and what won't. It used to offend me
when she wasn't excited about my dreams. I found that she's usually not
excited about certain ideas because they're impractical, and she's
usually right. I've learned to trust her over the years. We make a good

"I stretch her in creative ways she never imagined, and she reminds me
of my limitations and responsibilities. She encourages me to dream; but
like a kite, she keeps me connected to the ground. When the wind takes
me too high she pulls me back to reality. It's a wonderful arrangement
as long as we appreciate the differences."

- "COLLECTORS VS TOSSERS: COLLECTORS gather things. They love to go to
garage sales and hate to throw anything away for they know they'll need
it as soon as it's gone. After all, lunch boxes from the 50's are now
collector's items; paisley shirts from the 70's are popular again.
TOSSERS get rid of things. The have a philosophy that if something isn't
used within 6 months or a year, it probably never will be. They see the
Collector's treasures as clutter and love to have garage sales [to get
rid of that which they view as unnecessary]. Which one of these are you?

[Cindy: Again, balance is a key here to survival. You have to learn to
negotiate and compromise or you can drive each other crazy and can
become bitter instead of "better" in how you handle that which you view
as important. Steve and I are learning to view our home as one that
should work for US --rather than US working for our home. We try to be
sensitive to each other's views on what we keep and what we don't.
Matthew 6:19-20 is a great guide. However, don't use these scriptures as
weapons against each other's approaches --be loving and respectful.]

- "JUGGLERS VS HOLDERS: JUGGLERS are multi-channeled. They can balance
many things simultaneously without missing a thing and enjoy the
process. If they're forced to focus on only one item or product, they
become bored. HOLDERS are single channeled. They deal with one thing at
a time and when forced to cope with more, they become stressed and

"CAUTION: Jugglers assume that their spouse can juggle as well as they
can. Many a Holder tries their hand at juggling only to find they can't
do it. They think it's because they aren't as organized, or need more
practice, or if they were stronger they could keep up and do more. But
Holders aren't inferior to Jugglers; they're just different. They need
to finish one task before moving on to the next. They're more
compartmentalized. Keep in mind that juggling is an art and has it place
just as holding is important and has its place.

Differences can create balance if each spouse is willing to work
together as a team. Accepting and appreciating our partner's differences
is essential to to a healthy marriage. We hope you will work together in
partnership in this important issue in your relationship We also pray
God's greatest blessings on your marriage.