As I write this, I’m in the process of getting SCUBA certified. Most who know me well would be surprised by this, as I’m terrified of the ocean. Honestly, any body of water where I can’t see what’s around me is the most terrifying scenario I can imagine. My chest actually tightens just thinking about it. It may have something to do with when I was five years old and a crab bit my toe as I was innocently standing in the beautiful crystal clear waters of Galveston. Traumatic…
So at this point, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why in the world is this girl getting SCUBA certified if she’s afraid of being in the ocean?” Well, it’s really for one reason: My husband is SCUBA certified and he enjoys it. I know…that doesn’t sound like a good enough reason to most. Before I explain more, let me give you a bit of the backstory.
My husband Sam and I started dating our sophomore year at A&M (WHOOP) and just celebrated our third wedding anniversary. Besides the fact that we both love Jesus, Bluebell, and TexMex, all other things in our lives differ drastically (i.e., our interests, hobbies, taste in music, etc.). We are complete opposites.
Sam is a very techy guy with an analytical mind, desiring to understand how everything works in detail and why it works the way it does. I, on the other hand, don’t really care to understand how a thing works; I just want it to work. And if I’m going to research something, I rarely make it beyond the first Google search result. As for me, I love to work out and run outdoors. Sam thinks working out is the worst thing in the whole wide world (and still to my dismay, he manages to stay even in better shape than me…but that’s for another post).
These are just two examples on the list of many where we differ. In the beginning, I saw our differences as a major downfall. I think I even asked the question, “How could two people with no shared interests other than Mexican food and Bluebell last for 50+ years in peace?”
Because of Jesus.
Our foundation is rooted in our common love for the Lord and our desire to be like Him. That’s the most important thing and that is enough. So if our desire is to be more like Jesus, then serving and loving each other should be a piece of cake, right? Oh how I wish…
By nature, we are selfish beings. We think about what is convenient for us, what we want to do with our time, and how we can be most entertained. For me, (probably like most of you), I didn’t fully realize the extent of my selfishness until I got married. One verse that was a game changer for me is Philippians 2: 3 – 4, where Paul tells us to:
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
This verse helped me slowly start to remove my blinders and see my husband’s interests and hobbies not as a source of resentment but as a way to love and serve him.
Sam loves board games. Any game that challenges his mind, he is all in. Since we got married, he would often ask me to play, and I would tell him no. I would ask to do something else that sounded more fun to me. So you can imagine his surprise when I asked him one night if he wanted to play a game, his choice. He about fell over. The joy that he showed from me asking him to play a silly board game was mind-blowing to me. I soon realized that he wasn’t asking me to play a board game as a form of punishment or to make me suffer, but rather he wanted to do something that he really enjoyed with the person he loved most. What’s funny is that I actually really enjoy playing games with him now and we are known for being the couple that always has a bag full of games in our trunk (no joke), and I love it!
The same went for me when Sam asked me if I wanted to go for a run at my favorite running spot in Dallas. Remember when I said that Sam hates working out? I was so full of joy because my husband was taking time to run with me. And, Sam was so full of joy because he saw how loved I felt.
Sometime this week, initiate something that your spouse loves to do. It could be going to eat their favorite type of food, sitting down to watch a movie (their pick), or initiating a fun date night that includes all of the things they love most. Choose to do anything that they enjoy. I guarantee that they will feel loved, cared for, and known.
Cherish your spouse and how the Lord uniquely made them. Become a student of them (learn their love language). Embrace your different interests and take the plunge into something new together.
In a few weeks when I’m drifting along at the bottom of the ocean and 60 feet underwater, I’ll be able to look over at my husband to see the joy in his eyes and say, “this is so worth the sacrifice.” Actually I won’t, because you can’t talk underwater, but you get the point…
About the Author:
My name is Meagan Smith, and I serve as the re|engage ministry assistant here at Watermark. I am married to the smart, funny and handsome, Sam Smith. We met in 2008 at Texas A&M University (WHOOP, Gig em and Hullabaloo!) and tied the knot in 2014. When I’m not hanging with the Marriage Team here at Watermark, you can find me at White Rock lake or planning our next big adventure with Sam. It is such a gift and a privilege to serve our leaders and couples each week through re|engage as they seek oneness. Join us on any Wednesday night at 6:30 in the Loft!