How does your Pain Threshold compare to your spouse’s?
One of the things I’ve tried to do in the past, and failed miserably at, was to try to match my husband’s Pain Threshold. Troy can shoulder far more than I can and I used to try to compete with that. I cannot! I learned a long time ago that playing the tough guy just doesn’t fit me well, but being the strong woman God created me to be does. Troy said that one of us has to be soft and sensitive, and that sure made me feel better, but I still began to wonder if there was a way to increase the amount of pain I am able to withstand. Let me share with you two keys that I’ve learned.
First, realize that you don’t have the same Pain Threshold as your spouse. Chances are that your husband has a greater threshold than you. (Hey, husbands out there reading this blog, I would love to see your comments on this.) Unfortunately, if there is a huge gap between your Pain Threshold and your spouse’s, you are going to struggle in your marriage and ministry. You can avoid some serious problems by knowing your Pain Threshold and recognizing how that matches up with your spouse’s Pain Threshold. For example, if your husband is an 8 and you are a 2, you will find anything you endeavor to do to be taxing. When there is a substantial gap you are likely to find that one spouse will be constantly overwhelmed and the other will start to dream on their own because they don’t want to overwhelm their spouse. On the other hand, if your husband is an 8 and you are a 6, you will balance each other out and make a good team. If you are both a 2, consider serving instead of going into leadership and allow God to begin to strengthen you together. Make sense?
Second, figure out what triggers pain for you. For Troy and I, our triggers are different. He feels pain if he himself, or those around him, aren’t performing at a certain level. He believes in giving his best at all times, so that is a real trigger for him. For example, Troy would be in pain if he preached a message and thought he really tanked. (How could he ever think that, right??) It would seriously bother him. For me, on the other hand, if I tanked at preaching (Ya, I know you are wondering how that could ever happen too, right?), I would just blow it off and try harder next time. For me, I really hurt when there are situations with people that don’t go right, even if there is nothing I could have done to change the outcome. Troy and I realize that our triggers are different and knowing what motivates the pain in us helps us to manage our pain and be successful together.
I hope this helps you to begin to understand your Pain Threshold. Tomorrow I’ll be talking about how to increase your pain Threshold.