Misinterpretations and My 100%

Danny and I are doing a marriage study with a group from our church this semester. The study had us each read Psalm 51 and write down our takeaways, then discuss with our spouse. It’s a simple exercise, but it was super eye opening for us!

After we read our responses to each other, we stopped and scrunched up our eyebrows. “Did you read the same chapter I read?” Our responses could not have been more different! We went back and read Psalm 51 together. Yes: we read the same thing, and yes: both of our responses for that scripture were accurate. We got a good laugh out of that moment, and realized that our differences were on full display in that exercise.

Sometimes we miss the mark when we’re communicating. We might totally agree on something we’re discussing, but we have very different ways of expressing our thoughts. My interpretation of something he said or did might be different than what he intended because we think differently. That’s our biggest cause for arguments: misinterpreted communication. Our arguments turn into a dance without rhythm, purpose or grace. We aggressively circle around the consensus over and over again until we finally realize we’re talking about the same thing.

Danny is an analytical thinker. I’m an abstract thinker. The math brain in him says point A is that way because of point B. My creative brain says point A could be that way because of B, C or D. (Side note: my “Point A” example I just gave you drives him crazy because it’s too open to interpretation… Hellooooo logical thinker!) Danny finds the exact number, and I guesstimate. For the sake of our discussion, we are both correct, but our brains rationalize differently. The pastor who officiated our wedding picked up on that about us, and it was translated into our vows. Marriage is not a 50 - 50 deal. Love is not a logical formula. Love is two people giving 100% + 100%.

We talked about it in our small group, and another couple brought up that the Bible is a living word. The chapter or season of life we’re in can affect the truths we pull from scripture. That doesn’t mean that God’s Word is different depending on who’s reading it. I believe God was very intentional with each scripture in His holy book. But what stands out the most to Danny in a chapter of scripture is different than what stood out to me because of differences between us like our backgrounds, or what we’re each going through as individuals.

I think this study is going to continue to be eye opening for us. I’m excited to learn more about him and the way he thinks… but I’m also excited to learn more about myself and why I think and react to things the way I do. What can we be doing differently to better love one another? How do I need to change to better reflect Christ’s love? Where am I lacking in our divine 100% + 100% equation?