Jim and I attended the Liberty Christian School Fundraising Banquet tonight. As Jim is an alumni of the school, and I am related to him by marriage, and we have friends who teach at the school and friends who have their children enrolled, we receive all sorts of little loves notes from Liberty encouraging us to participate in their endeavour. Which we are happy to, given Jim's experience with the school and the core values the school operates on.
Typically at a fundraising banquet, you pay a large sum of money to sit in a chair, enjoy a catered meal, and listen to people beg you to get your checkbook out. I must say, while I enjoy getting to eat a meal I didn't have to prepare myself (especially these days; thanks Dave Ramsey!), typically the idea of going to a fundraising banquet isn't ranked very high on the fun scale. There are ways I could spend my time having more fun that doing the above-described events, if you catch my drift. But Jim and I are very happy to support LCS, and having scrimped and saved in our food budget money to afford the tickets, we were looking forward to the event. Even if it was just for the food.
I must say, we were very pleased with how the night turned out. The food was a delicious turkey dinner that left me ashamed at how much food I could consume in one sitting (okay, I did starve myself in preparation for this event!) and the speaker gave a very stimulating discussion on personality types. His premise for this talk was, "How can we love each other as Christ has called us to love each other if we don't understand each other?" Good point.
There were four distinct personality types he outlined tonight: the Saint Bernard's, the Golden Retrievers, the Rottweilers, and the Puppies. Saint Bernard's are the "boy scouts" of our society, Golden Retrievers are the "buddies" of our society, Rottweilers are exactly what you think they should be, and the Puppies just want to have a good time. Jim and I discovered tonight that we are both a mix of the exact opposite personality types. He is a Golden Retriever/Puppy, which means he is fun-loving, a people person, gets along with everyone, impulsive, and not as concerned with the results as having a good time getting there. I, on the other hand, am a Rottweiler with a smidgen of Saint Bernard. I am ambitious, determined, critical, stubborn, autonomous, and a terrible perfectionist. I know those of you who know me personally are finding this hard to believe, but there you go.
As the speaker was describing these different personality types and the traits they portray, I mulled over how Jim and I could be complete opposites in our personality types and have a functional marriage. I am stubbornly independent and need my personal space. Jim is very dependent and needs constant emotional connection. I am driven and obsessed with accomplishment to the point that I do not feel validation if I have not accomplished. Jim is easy-going and rarely knows where he's going, except to know that its going to be a good ride. I am precisely planned and organized in every aspect of my life, and Jim is impulsive and led wherever the moment takes him. Jim is warm and loving, I am harsh and critical.
And yet, it works. How? I do not know. All I do know is that every day, I am assured more and more that our marriage is the work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who puts all things together. I am even more assured that left to our own devices, our marriage would be in shambles. Or non-existant.
Am I thankful for my husband? Oh yes. Do I struggle with how I interact with him? Often. When Jim wants to spend the day doing nothing important, relaxing and having a good time, and my precisely planned to-do list suffers, I struggle. When the way Jim lives his life doesn't match up to my critical standards, I struggle. When I desperately want to be alone and Jim is craving connectedness, I struggle. Sometimes I allow the Holy Spirit to work inside of me in those circumstances. More often, my sinful nature wins out and I wind up saying or doing something I regret.
Then I thought about how God placed us, with our differences, together in such a way that we complete each other and create oneness. Jim needs my attention to detail and planning and organizational skills as much as I need his ability to relax, unwind, and enjoy life. Even now, as I write this, Jim is trying to share a story with me while I struggle with my inward desire to quit listening to him and finish my blog.
The moral of this story? Thank God He is in control and He knows what He is doing. Because I sure don't have a clue.