Marriage Insight: How Differences Can Make a Strong Marriage Stronger

Insights are short, biblical truths to equip you to lead from your strengths.

Zeke and his wife had a problem. They desperately wanted a child. But Liz was infertile and the couple had no access to specialized infertility care.

couple sitting in sunset

Image: Sanjay Kumar Swami

Zeke and Liz had done all the right things. They had taken care of themselves. They remained faithful to each other and to God. They had worked at their jobs, maintained their home, paid their bills. Their faith was strong and they prayed with devotion.

The couple knew they were well-suited to each other and that their strengths completed one another. Theirs was a good marriage. It was about to get better!

Here’s an Insight

God uses a couple’s differences to make a strong marriage even stronger.

That’s what happened to Zeke and Liz. You know them as Zechariah and Elizabeth.

One day while Zechariah was praying, God spoke to him through the angel Gabriel and told him that Elizabeth would become pregnant. Zechariah, being a Realistic who needed to validate information, wanted an explanation. “How can I be sure of this?” Zechariah asked Gabriel. “I am an old man and my wife is well along in years” (Luke 1:18, NIV). The facts of the situation didn’t add up to Zechariah’s logical mind.

Yet Zechariah had an Optimistic wife who processed information completely differently than him – with trust and excitement.  “The Lord has done this for me,” said Elizabeth. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people” (Luke 1:25, NIV).

Elizabeth had no problem accepting all kinds of news easily. She enthusiastically embraced her young cousin, Mary, when the girl showed up on her doorstep … pregnant by the Holy Spirit.

Although Zechariah had become verbally handicapped after his encounter with Gabriel, the couple was able to communicate and agree on the baby’s name before Elizabeth went into labor. That Elizabeth would readily give her firstborn a name other than her husband’s – especially during Bible times – is yet another testament to her ability to trust information easily.

Two Differences Combine to Make a Strong Unit

Zechariah and Elizabeth’s partnership grew even stronger over time. In their advanced age, Zechariah and Elizabeth raised their son John to “became strong in the spirit” (Luke 1:80, NIV) – not an easy feat, as any parent knows. John would become the herald who prepared God’s people to receive Jesus Christ.

Think about the problems this couple faced: infertility … gossip … disability … aging … raising a child in their golden years …

Through it all, their differences made them stronger as a unit.

Yours can, too.

Now How Shall I Live?

Read the story of John the Baptist’s birth in Luke 1.

  • Identify the strengths exhibited by Zechariah.
  • Identify the strengths exhibited by Elizabeth.
  • How did God use this couple’s individual strengths to build an even stronger marriage?

Powerful curriculum that equips couples to understand each others’ strengths and how those strengths work together in marriage. Different by Design

Discover and use your God-given strengths in your marriage – Marriage Insights Profile

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