“You are saying I have peeled bananas the “wrong” way my entire life?”
He nods his head “Yup”
“But I grew up on a farm, we planted bananas. You grew up in the city, you can’t possibly know which side is up or down!”
My husband is not convinced my farm girl background makes any difference.
He thinks I don’t know how to peel a banana. I start from the bottom instead of the top.
But I know he peels the wrong way!
And we are determined to convert each other to our truths.
It’s all playful though and as we banter and play with the bright yellow fruit in my hand, I marvel at how far we have come.
I came into marriage, like most brides. Convinced about my way of life and set of truths. Willing to yield a little to my husband, as long as it did not involve sacrifice, inconvenience or loss of pride, certainly not yielding of my beloved will.
And because we are both humans, my husband came with his own set of convictions.
I am strong willed and determined, my husband is a good old fashioned guy – he’s willing to graciously give up and give in, but only when he doesn’t have to check his manhood at the door.
But whenever we have differing and passionately held opinions, I demand my husband checks his manhood at the door by my tone of voice, feisty heart and runaway mouth.
We’d dig in our heels and argue. A little disagreement would spawn a big storm. Because little things build up to big things when pride and ego take center stage.
Over time, God has taught me how to agree or disagree graciously so my marriage might thrive.
It’s okay to be different
Typically I don’t have a problem extending grace to myself. Back then, I expected my husband to accept me the way I was, warts and all, but I was not so accepting of the way God made Him.
But there’s a reason the Bible says “male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).
We are different and our differences spice up marriage, our different ways make us a complete whole as a couple.
They also keep us on our knees, desperate for God.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit for anger resides in the lap of fools”
I have to choose my battles.
Not every disagreement and bump has to be debated to it’s conclusive end. Some things you choose to let go, not because you don’t have an opinion but because you value you relationship more than an opinion.
Diffuse the fight
There are things we could do while in the middle of disagreement to let each other know we were still loved and valued.
Like using a light tone of voice when we wanted to growl, a smile in the middle of a tense moment, a gentle touch on the arm.
Nothing soothes and disarms burning embers like feeling accepted and loved in our most unlovely moments.
A feisty heart is good
But only when it’s submitted to Christ
I loved to win, I loved to debate and it always troubled me because I wanted to be a meek quiet wife.
I learned (like Jolene taught recently), that a transformed heart is what God is looking for. Once my heart was submitted to Christ, the rest of my person would follow.
No band-aids, just real transformation from within. I would stop fighting with my husband and start fighting for our marriage.
Still a fighter, but now fighting the right fight.
One of the biggest things that God has taught me in our almost seven years of marriage is that couples never stop having opportunities for conflict.
Because couples never stop growing and learning. And that one thing keeps them depending on God.
Ps. So the other day, I realized my husband’s way of peeling a banana is actually easier! Oh the things you learn after three decades of life!