The title of this post was entirely Alex’s idea – he thought it’d be funny. This post was birthed over our coffee + study date today.
We were discussing a book that I am currently reviewing for Stasi Eldredge (which I will be sharing with you soon!). I enthusiastically described to Alex how beautiful and poetic the Eldgredges’ writing style is, and he agreed that he enjoys the poetic/emotive writing styles of John Eldredge and Richard Foster.
“But,” he said, “the only setback to these authors is that they often use poems/song lyrics to illustrate a point. So I usually just skip that part and get straight to the main point.”
That really got our discussion going because I LOVE poems & songs – I strongly believe that music and art are very powerful tools that can slip past a person’s defenses and go straight to their heart. They can speak to the heart and change us in ways that no amount of ordinary words can. Look at Walt Disney and how his work & dreams are still shaping millions of lives today.
Alex’s defense was that he didn’t need a poem to make a point; he could summarize an entire paragraph in a single sentence. My argument was that that wasn’t the point!! The point of a poem is not simply to state a point; poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words (Edgar Allan Poe) and it can communicate before it is understood (T.S. Elliot).
Obviously, Alex prefers intellect and efficiency while I prefer romance and idealism.
So we decided to have a little competition – we would choose a poem, and do our best to convince the other why our way was better. The below is a capture of Alex’s exact words. I was both extremely amused and extremely appalled.
Warning to non-Singaporeans: Singlish, the colloquial version of English in Singapore, was used in the following. If you have any confusion, just ask in the comment box and we will do our best to explain.
This is just one example of how different both of us are. Alex is an INTJ, I am an INFJ. We are on a constant journey of learning, and being (usually) pleasantly surprised, that the other sees the world in a way that is SO different from our own. We can laugh and learn from each other’s unique perspective – and become better people because of it.
But it wasn’t always like this. When we first got together, we literally fought every day (not an exaggeration) because of how different we were. I thought he was a caveman. He thought I was stubborn and in-submissive. The only thing that kept us together was that, despite it all, there was a deep love and inexplicable connection between us. And also because we knew this relationship was from God, orchestrated from years before we officially became a couple.
Through the past couple of years, we have learnt that the other is different from ourself and there’s nothing we can do to change that. And that’s ok. In fact, now we wouldn’t have it any other way. In learning to see the other’s point of view, our worlds are made all the more beautiful and colorful.
From my own experience, there are some ingredients I feel are important for a happy relationship:
1. Communication. Very important! Talk, share, and talk some more. Communication helps us to understand the other person, and put their needs & feelings before ours.
2. Forgiveness. We are human and will hurt each other. Master the art of forgiving and you will have a much happier relationship.
3. Humility. It’s not always about being right. Sometimes we need to give up our right to be right in order to love our spouse.
Now we are united in the things that matter, we just have different expressions of that. As I write this, we are sitting side-by-side in a cafe – both typing furiously away on our laptops, our minds are working hard, but the stark contrast is that I am writing this conversational story-piece while he is writing a paper on the spiritual decay of Israel.
And we wouldn’t have it any other way.