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When Strength Becomes a Weakness


I think I have struggled with this often in my marriage. I have always thought that Johnny and I are sort of backwards. Meaning, what strengths are many times found more in males are the ones I exhibit. I am the improver, fixer, get it done, kind of gal. I love to manage things. Really pretty much everyone and everything. I move fast, I like results, and I multi-task well. 


Now Johnny, on the other hand is a slow paced, easy going, stop and smell the roses kind of guy. Spontaneous, free-spirited and peace-loving. He sounds good on paper, but what about when my need for order, control, and efficient management meets mister, get it done whenever? Well, to say there were fireworks is pretty accurate. 


Oh, my heavens, I spent way too many years believing that my strengths were superior to his strengths. That what I brought to the table, carried more value, was more important. His strengths were pleasant and nice, but mine were necessary. Wow, hard to type that, but so truthful. It made for painful times because I allowed my achievements of getting so much done, to become a weakness when I used it to justify my being critical and judgmental of Johnny for not doing it my way. 


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"the power of two people leaning into each other's strengths is incredible."

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            I falsely saw my strengths as superior. Therefore, I did not appreciate, respect or recognize the incredible strengths Johnny had. I was blinded to his strengths, and mine became a barrier in our marriage – hence, a weakness. 


            Maybe you have not ever thought or felt what I just shared, but hear me when I say, as long as we hold to a false mindset that says how I am gifted, is better or more important than how you are gifted, we are believing a lie. 1 Corinthians 12:21-23 (NIV) says, “The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!”  And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable are treated with special honor.” This passage is talking about the gifts of believers in the body of Christ. Believers are all gifted in different ways. Sometimes we tend to give more credit or accolades to some gifts, some strengths. This verse reminds us not to. This is so true in our marriages. The odds that you each have the same strengths are probably close to nil. Many couples may have some overlap, but others have no overlap at all (That would be us!!!). 


            This is the challenge; how do I learn to see my strength not as superior to my spouses but just different? How do I embrace that his strengths are opposite of mine, but just as necessary. What is amazing is that if we learn to do this, the power of two people leaning into each other's strengths is incredible. It opens opportunities to be such a stronger couple, a complete team, much more than we each are when we just function in our own strength. It brings a beautiful blending when we embrace each other's strength. I wish I could say, lesson learned, I totally have this down, (checked it off my list). But I still stumble at times. Thankfully God reminds me……of what is true. 


~Carla 

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