Complementary – I Said This, You Heard That.

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If you look up the word “complementary,” you’ll find that it means to combine in such a way as to enhance or emphasize the qualities of each other. To me, that seems like the perfect word to exemplify what a marriage should be like between a husband and wife.

1 Peter 3:7
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

This October, my wife and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary. Through the years, we have both grown in our understanding of each other. I feel our marriage is truly complementary. Most of my weaknesses are in areas where she shines, and I am strong in areas where she may not be quite as capable. As our relationship has developed more and more each year, we have both learned to adapt and rely on each other. I have learned to trust and appreciate her strengths and, at the same time, understand her weaknesses so I can be there for her when needed.

When we first took the temperament assessment, neither of us felt it was accurate; however as we read through each other’s strengths and weaknesses, we realized how “spot on” it actually was. My wife is a blue (melancholic), and I am a green (phlegmatic) with a heavy influence of red (choleric). Just to give you an example of how our temperaments complement each other: One of her weaknesses is a tendency to be moody; my complementary strength is patience. One of my weaknesses is an inclination to be aimless; her complementary strength is focus.

Each of the temperaments has its own strengths and weaknesses. Every strength needs to be celebrated, and every weakness needs to be acknowledged. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses for ourselves and others not only helps us to grow but also helps us to serve others better.  And serving others is an excellent way to celebrate our strengths!

The key is to use the knowledge of understanding others’ strengths and weaknesses to serve them, not to take advantage of them or take them for granted. I know that in our marriage, my wife always has my back. She knows when and where I need her help, and I believe she knows and trusts that I understand what she needs from me. Complementary!

Have you and your spouse taken the temperament assessment? If so, have you really read through it to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses?

Next Steps:
If you have not done so, take the temperament assessment.

Learn about the different colors and what some of the strengths and weaknesses are of each.

When conversing with others, make it a point to ask their color and to share yours. It can be a great starting point for a meaningful relationship.


Our most gracious and loving God, we are so thankful that you created us in your image, and that you gave us the opportunity and privilege to develop relationships through marriage. Father, help me to always be attentive to my spouse’s needs, to cherish what they bring to our relationship, and to also make sure I always bring my best to the relationship. Father, help me to not only use my strengths in my marriage but also to serve those I meet each day, for your honor and your glory. Amen.

This post was written by Ned Miller, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.

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3 replies
  1. Julie Estep
    Julie Estep says:

    My husband and I both felt the test was pretty accurate. I appreciate the way you show how the strengths and weaknesses of each other compliment. It does make us stronger as a couple. Thanks for writing Ned!

  2. Casey Stengel
    Casey Stengel says:

    Great job Ned!! It’s really cool that when we read into each others temperaments we find a way to harmonize with each other.

  3. Jaron Camp
    Jaron Camp says:

    Thanks for sharing, Ned. It’s essential to understand our strengths and weaknesses in our relationships. I caught myself stifling my wife’s spontaneity earlier this week based on her temperament. I stopped, apologized, and we figured it out together.

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