Incompatibility…The Spice in Marriage


In the Chapman household it was a ‘silent night’ and I’m not talking about the classic Christmas song!

Earlier in the day, Eb Scrooge and Mrs. Claus had tried to have Christmas with their children.  But along with opening the gifts, we also “unwrapped” our opposing opinions about the Holiday. What could have been the most wonderful time of the year turned out to be a “bah humbug” event…again.

Huggin’ around the Christmas tree

James 4:1-3 isn’t typically used as part of the Christmas narrative. In our case, however, it was more appropriate than the Luke 2 story.  Brother James asked, “What causes fights and quarrel among you?”  He answered his own question by saying that we get angry because we don’t get our waySimply stated, anger is what happens when “my way is the only way” fails to happen.   

Gratefully, Steve and I have learned that having differing opinions is not necessarily a bad thing.  We also realize that we can disagree without being disagreeable.  In the “Christmas situation,” I wanted to overspend and overindulge our children with more gifts than they needed.  Steve, on the other hand, thought the children already had enough toys and didn’t need anything else

If I’d had my way, we would have been in debt from one January to the next.  If Steve had his way our children would have written a scathing book about him entitled, “Daddy, Dearest.”  The good news is, by compromising and learning to see the other’s opinion as valid, we learned to enjoy a wonderfully, debt-free, non-spoiled-children-Christmas with great memories.

As of this writing Steve and I have had the privilege of thirty-eight chances to celebrate Christmas together.  As the years have gone by, we have done much better at achieving “peace on earth,” or at least, “peace in Tennessee.” We finally realized that our differences are really like spice in chili. Without it, chili would be bland and lacking taste. With spice, however, chili is an exciting dish…so is marriage!

How did this accomplishment happen? We decided to embrace each other’s idea of what Christmas is supposed to be. While it wasn’t easy, nor comfortable, we’re happy to report that our decision to do so really did work. It not only helped us get along much better during the Advent Season, our relationship has grown stronger since then.

The song, Incompatibility, highlights many of the differences we have recognized in our relationship yet have chosen to embrace. Perhaps some of the items on our lyrical list might sound familiar to you. If so, you’ll know you’re not alone in the challenge to get along as a couple… even with opposing views. Remember, chili is much better with spice!


Him:  I like a little mayo

Her:  Mustard is my thing

Him:  Make my bread as white as cotton

Her:  I’ll have wheat with seven grains

Her:  And a little candle glowing when we eat is what I like

Him:  I need to see what I’m consuming, so please turn on the lights


Her:  I go to bed before the news

Him:  I’m still awake at two A.M.

Her:  I’m up before the chickens

Him:  If I can, I’m sleeping in

Him:  I like wearing huntin’ clothes

Her:  I like huntin’ clothes to wear

Her:  I’ll always ask directions

Him:  I’ll find my own way there


We’ve got incompatibility everywhere we turn

But still we stay together cause there’s a lesson we have learned

That if this man and woman were in every way the same

One of us would not be needed, and wouldn’t that be a shame


Her:  I like a walk in the park

Him:  And I would rather run

Him:  How far can we go on empty

Her:  I’ve never seen as fun

Him:  I like talking to my buddy’s when we’re teeing off at ten

Her:  My greens and conversation are a salad bar with friends


Her:  My feet are like December

His:  And mine are like July

Her:  While I’m piling on the blankets

Him:  I lay there and fry

Her:  I married Ebenezer Scrooge

Him:  I married Mrs. Claus

Her:  While I’m watching Casablanca

Him:  I’d rather be watching football


We’ve got incompatibility everywhere we turn

But still we stay together cause there’s a lesson we have learned

That if this man and woman were in every way the same

One of us would not be needed, and wouldn’t that be a shame


(“Incompatibility,” lyrics by Steve and Annie Chapman, Times and Seasons Music, BMI; available on the  Love Was Spoken CD.)


    Would you briefly share something you and your spouse do that helps to keep    disagreements from turning into a disaster for your marriage? 


Feel free to use the comment spot to share a prayer request for your marriage.  Here’s a chance for you to share your need and allow others to join with you in prayer.


Blessings on you and yours!

Annie Chapman



  1. PennyRose Couch says

    Thank you so much for offering this much needed support for marriages. It means a lot to me that people like you are fighting in favor of godly marriages.

    • Steve and Annie says

      You are most welcome. It is obvious that the Kingdom of God is being attacked one family at a time. As we put our trust in the Lord and stand against the forces of evil through prayer, we will see God’s power.
      Blessings on you and yours!

Share Your Thoughts