Thank God We Are Not The Same

(submitted for November 2012 church newsletter)

Have you ever heard a sermon at church and the message pertains to a situation that you are currently experiencing? And it's as if God is talking to you right then and there? Doesn't it give you goosebumps of gratitude and awe all over?

I elbowed my husband during the sermon at the recent Heritage Sunday to point out the title of the message: "Thank God, We Are Not The Same!" Though the focus of the message was more about embracing the diversity in the church, the title hit home for me as it pertains to my recent complaints and frustrations toward the "differences" between me and my husband.

You see, my husband and I are polar opposites. Besides the obvious age (15 years my senior) and cultural (I'm Filipino and he's American)gaps that we have, my husband is a night owl and I'm a morning person. His top choices for TV shows and movies would be my least, and vise versa. And while I love to go out and big crowds don't bother me, my husband would rather stay home especially if there's even a slight chance that there would be a big crowd. The list can go on and on.

Like a diverse church united by the same Spirit that established the very first church (Acts 2:1-13 The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost), over the years (26 years and strong), the same Spirit empowered our marriage and we have learned to respect our differences, to compromise, and to focus on our similarities and the things that bind us together.

By the grace of God through the power of the Holy Spirit, we have even learned to like some of the things that the other enjoys. And most importantly, I have come to realize and embrace that there are wonderful gifts that a polar opposite can bring. The gift of our polar opposite can fill in our blanks, challenge us to stretch, and even complete us.

For years I have been asking: "God, please change my husband" when I should have been praying: "Thank you God, we are not the same".

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