Viva’ la Difference’

I have been driving for over 40 years, and have never had a wreck, and have only received one speeding ticket (for hurrying the boys to elementary school, which shouldn’t even count). The truth be told, I am pretty good at driving.

Hundreds of thousands of miles, in all manner of traffic situations and weather; there should be a hall of fame, or large trophy, or bonus money involved here somewhere. I decided years ago that driving is not merely a necessary activity – it is actually a sport. A sport requiring cat-like reflexes, a mastery of judging speed and distance, super computer ability to process millions of stimuli at a time – and, oh yeah – the patience of Job.

Without the patience, you become that arrogant, let-me-see-how-close-I-can-get-to-your-bumper thug we all can live without. You see, there are not too many of us hall-of-fame, all-American drivers. I also decided a few years back that – most people just steer their cars, while some of us actually drive them. If you are a fellow driver – then welcome to the elite group who understand what  it takes to excel at our sport. If you are unsure – here is a shortened version of the self-test:

1. When the highway sign reads – “Lane ends 1 Mile ahead – Merge Now” – do you (a) dutifully obey the sign, merge into your place in the mile-long line of drivers who are waiting for the actual merger to occur, (b) keep driving in the left lane, passing an entire mile of traffic, and then merge just ahead of plowing into the orange cones, or (c) cut across the right hand median to the access road so you won’t have to merge at all.

2. When driving into the Wal Mart parking lot to find a parking spot, do you – a) pull into the first open spot you find, even if it is half a mile from the front door, (b) drive immediately to the front of the store and begin looking for the spot the (a) people never saw, even if you have to drive up and down a couple of aisles to find it (the goal is to park as close as possible, not just park), or (c) pull up to the “fire lane – no parking anytime” area, because you are not really parking, you’re just “running in”?

There are many more questions to ask, but if you answered (a) to both – you are have not quite made it to the pros yet; a (b) answer to both will get you a free membership on our driving team, and (c) to both should contact a professional for a couple of therapy sessions.

The love of my life doesn’t understand to this day what compels me to pass all those stopped people on the freeway and merge near the front of the line, or to “make my own parking place” when I can’t find one that I like. I sometimes find myself asking questions in my brain like – “why doesn’t she understand, this just makes sense?”, or “Why doesn’t she think more like I do?’

It is true with driving, and it is true in our marriage. We don’t think alike when it comes to most things. She really doesn’t understand how I think (and I don’t understand her either). We are not the same. God didn’t create another male friend for Adam, so they could understand each other. He purposefully created a complex, relationship-oriented, caring, feeling, mystifying female to “complete” us. Her role is not to upset us or confound us – she is designed by God to be our “helper”. Right now you may be saying “Sometimes, I really don’t need that kind of help”, but God knows you need exactly that kind of help

She doesn’t think like I think, she doesn’t respond the way I respond, she is a woman- and will never be like a man – thank you Lord for that. That is why God commands me to “live with her in an understanding way“, and to “give myself up for her“. She is His daughter, and He is serious about His expectations for how I should treat her. He gave her to me to help conform me to His image, not to have someone who understands me and thinks like I think.

So, what is my response to His Word to me as her husband? YES  SIR.

God made us different from our wives – WAY different. He knows what He’s doing. The sooner we embrace our differences, the more fulfilling our marriage will be.