“The difficultly with marriage is that we fall in love with a personality, but we must live with a character.” – Peter Devries
What is meant by character?
“Personality” is easy to understand. Your “personality” is how people experience you. It’s your public persona. But what is “character?” And why is “character” so crucial in your marriage?
Character is who you are when no one is watching.
You see, when you and your spouse met, you met each other’s personalities. You showed your spouse and you were shown by your spouse your public personas. You didn’t tricked each other. It’s just your personality; how you display yourself to others.
Marriage lasts too long in too close quarters for anyone to sustain a public persona. Personalities eventually give way to an inner self that gets revealed for the first time. And there you each stand, naked as if no one is watching. But someone is watching. And that’s when you meet for the first time…again!
You and your spouse don’t meet the person who charmed each other’s friends, bought gifts for each other’s parents, and always smiled from ear to ear. No, this time it’s a meeting of your characters. It’s not only that you’re meeting each other for the first time, but it’s that you’re meeting YOURSELVES for the first time.
Most people wouldn’t be caught dead treating anyone the way they treat their spouse. Most people don’t recognize their own behavior. “I’m just not myself with him/her.” Well then who is that person?
The reason so many people fail at marriage and an attempt at marriage renewal is not that they don’t like their spouse. It’s that they don’t like themselves. And while everyone else in their life is like a mirror reflecting their personality; their spouse is a mirror reflecting their character. And most people don’t like what they see.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5