Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (1 Cor 12.7)
I was thinking recently about how well Alida (my wife) and I usually fit together. We each have strengths that the other doesn’t and our weaknesses are usually covered up by the abilities of the other.
Let me give a really silly example: When it comes to road trips, Alida and I each have some particular skills that help us greatly. Alida is great at making lists of things to include but she doesn’t usually have the time required to actually get the things ready for the trip. I’m horrible at thinking of all the things we’ll need, but I have time to follow her directions. I’m pretty horrible with cardinal directions (if it weren’t for the mountains north of Pasadena I would be lost half of the time!) but I really enjoy driving and I can drive and drive and drive for hours. Alida is great with directions and is also great at patiently giving me instructions regarding which way to go, but Alida doesn’t really enjoy driving at all. Alida has a sweet tooth, so she makes sure that we have some sweet snacks to take with us. I love savory foods, so I make sure we have some hearty snacks. I could go on and on. My guess would be that most married people could probably say some similar sorts of things about their marriages.
Now there’s no point in over-emphasizing this point. In each marriage there are places where the couple’s personalities and habits clash. And these clashes usually get more attention than the places where there is harmony. As they say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. But I believe that God made us to complement one another. In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul is, of course, writing to the various members of the church in Corinth. But his words can apply well to a marriage. Let’s rephrase the verse to highlight this point: To each spouse a manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good of the marriage.
So here’s the challenge, instead of focusing on the personality and habit clashes that are inevitable in marriage, let’s start focusing on how we are specially gifted by the Holy Spirit for the common good of our marriages.
What special gift or quality does your spouse bring to your marriage that enhances your marriage’s common good?