This article was originally posted on The Intersect Project on 9.16.19. The link to the full article is at the bottom of the screen.
Personality tests have been used in psychology, counseling, and even business for decades, but as believers, how can we use these tools for the glory of God? From a participator, a student and an observer, here’s what I’ve learned.
“So I am over here….”
I leaned forward and looked at the paper. On the large wooden desk in front of me, my boss’s finger pointed to a long line representing an element of his personality.
His finger landed at the far end of the scale, the extreme end. I nodded. I hadn’t been working in his counseling office for very long, but I could have guessed as much about him.
“And,” he slid his finger along the scale to the far other end, “Here’s my wife.”
My eyes widened. This 70-year-old man, married for half a century, was committed to a woman with whom psychology told him he was doomed to live a life of unfulfillment. As a counseling student, it looked to me like a recipe for disaster. And yet, from what I had gathered from seeing them together now and then, their marriage was far from being a relational wreck: it was one I actually admired, the kind of love we all hope we will still have after 50 years.
“How….” I began, not sure how to continue without offending him. “How does that work?” I winced at the bluntness of my own question.
He laughed. Call it differences of opinion, call it personality types, we could call it anything we wanted: On paper, his marriage looked like it should be a lifetime of him saying one thing and her hearing another. I found myself silently thanking God that I was pretty sure my husband wasn’t that far from me on the personality scale, different as he was.
“I’m not going to lie,” he smiled and reclined back in his chair slightly, proceeding to tell me that the first few years of their marriage, he felt it. The distance, the differences.
“So how did you do it?” I asked, thinking that between his own marriage and a career counseling others with the Bible, he had to have a secret.
He leaned forward, folding his hands in front of him on his desk, and looked up at me with raised brows and a smile.
“By the grace of God.”