I recently bought a new Dell Studio laptop computer with a Vista Premium platform, and as I expected, some of the familiar applications I used on my old Fujitsu Siemens laptop running Microsoft XP are not compatible with the new laptop. Although I am not currently building web sites or uploading them to an Internet Service Provider (ISP), I could do with a suitable File Transfer Protocol (FTP) application so that if I decide to make web sites again I shall have the ability to upload them to my web space. Unfortunately, Terrapin FTP, my favourite and most used application, is not compatible with computers running Vista. This will mean that I’ll have to find a compatible FTP application.
The very subject of ‘Compatibility’ is a fascinating one, as I’ve had years in which to study what is involved in the process of being compatible within a marriage – my own! Not only have I had more than 48 years of marriage to my dear wife in which to study our compatibility or lack of it, but I’ve had ample opportunities to work at being compatible with her. “What is it that keeps you together?” they may ask. “You are so different in many ways.”
That’s true, but perhaps those differences can be likened to the mixing of chemical ingredients that bring about new materials for testing: those of value can be used to good effect and the useless ones discarded. Where there are found to be irreconcilable differences in the chemical mix, only an attitude of acceptance by both parties can result in a satisfactory solution. I suggest that differences can be like a catalyst, an unchanging binding agent that can keep people working at their relationships. Tell, me, are there any married couples who do not have differences of opinions and different interests; they may even have different faiths and yet their marriages work? The secret seems to be this word, ‘work’. My experience leads me to believe ‘working at a marriage’ is an essential aspect of a successful union.
Over time people change; they develop new interests, have new jobs, come into contact with people who have lifestyles unlike their own and they are influenced by the changing scenes of life, particularly by what they see via the media, be it TV, films, magazines and nowadays, the Internet. Technology has brought about vast changes in our expectations and our material possessions, as well as offering opportunities for jobs that previously did not exist. The ageing process itself brings about inevitable change. Because of these constantly changing influences and situations, a married couple, if their relationship is to flourish, must continually adjust to one another and accept the changes they find – they could more so embrace changes so as to mutually benefit from them.
Within the timescale of any lasting union through the bond of marriage, a couple committed to one another will experience changes of circumstances to which they must adjust if their relationship is to remain compatible. If they have children and grandchildren they will undergo many traumas, but they will also have great satisfaction and an inner sense of fulfilment - all because they have worked at being compatible, but Paul the Apostle warned of marriage with these words, ‘I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion,’ and, ‘Even if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Nevertheless such will have trouble in the flesh, but I would spare you.’ (1 Corinthians 7:8,9; 28) There’s food for thought!