It is common to see one spouse in a marriage to be extrovert and the other to be an introvert. I am definitely an introvert and my husband is the extrovert. With these different types of personality traits influencing marriage, we thought it would be fun to encourage couples to listen in on how we deal with our tendencies and how we navigate it through the scriptures found in the Bible.
Being an introvert and extrovert should not define us, however, these traits do influence us and the way we operate, so it is good to evaluate how we are and line up to what God says about us in His Word. We hope this encourages you today!
Read The Transcript
Aaron Smith: Hey we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God.
Jennifer Smith: Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage. And today we’re gonna talk about being an extrovert and introvert in marriage, and how to navigate that biblically.
Aaron Smith: Today as always, before we get started we want to invite you to hit that little red button to subscribe to our channel, and make sure to hit the notification bell next to it so you get notified every time we upload a new video.
Jennifer Smith: And also, knowing that the topic today is about being an introvert or extrovert if you have anything to input be sure to leave us a comment.
Aaron Smith: So what is an introvert and an extrovert?
Jennifer Smith: So the terms got really popularized by a psychiatrist by the name Carl Jung. I hope I said that right. But he, back in the 1920s, started just talking about these more. So basically an introvert is re-energized by alone time, by having just solitude and-
Aaron Smith: Darkness?
Jennifer Smith: Not darkness. Just kind of being by themselves or being consumed by their own thoughts and feelings and creativity, where an extrovert gets re-energized by that social interaction.
Aaron Smith: So are you an introvert or extrovert?
Jennifer Smith: I’m definitely an introvert.
Aaron Smith: And you self-identify as that or are you just …
Jennifer Smith: Based off of these personality traits, I would identify as an introvert.
Aaron Smith: And you’re right, you usually would lean much more towards being alone and not having a lot of people around.
Jennifer Smith: Maybe here’s the better definition. An introvert is someone who gets exhausted by social interaction and needs solitude to recharge. I read that somewhere.
Aaron Smith: On my side, I get exhausted by alone time. I actually go stir crazy.
Jennifer Smith: Yeah you go stir crazy and you crave having people over and going out and doing stuff.
Aaron Smith: A perfect example of this is just this last week we were all sick, and everyone in our community was sick, all of our friends were sick.
Jennifer Smith: So everybody was kind of quarantined in their own homes.
Aaron Smith: So we didn’t see anyone for a couple weeks actually. We missed church, we didn’t have any hang out time. And I was like, “I need to go see people.” And you were probably just loving it.
Jennifer Smith: Our daughter was like that too.
Aaron Smith: And you were loving it.
Jennifer Smith: Oh yeah.
Aaron Smith: You didn’t say … She didn’t mention one word about it.
Jennifer Smith: I got stuff done around the house. It was just relaxing.
Aaron Smith: She’s like, “These last few weeks have been wonderful.” I’m like, “What are we doing? I need to go do something. Is there people we can go see somewhere?”
So I would say I definitely self-identify as an extrovert. I do get energized when I’m in groups of people when I’m around my closest friends. I’m not like that to the full extent where I can just be around any people, although I could, I get most energized around people I enjoy being around. You guys, but then like friends. Guy time.
Jennifer Smith: People who you already have intimate connections and relationships with, close friends and family members.
Aaron Smith: And I’m sure a lot of people listening today are similar, either on the one side or the other. Which is why we’re talking about this today because this is a common thing. It’s probably rare that couples are the same, they’re always wanting to go or always wanting to stay in. It’d probably be actually harder on that, I feel like, because we’re so different in that don’t you think it like forces you to dig into the other side. And I get forced to slow down.
Jennifer Smith: It does bring a balance to a relationship and to the way that we schedule ourselves, the way that we operate in our relationship. I think that it does bring balance, for sure.
Aaron Smith: And it’s not easy.
Jennifer Smith: And in the way that we communicate, because there’s often times that because I’m an introvert I wanna turn inward in my thoughts and just the way I process things, where you’re, because you’re more outgoing and expressive you just wanna talk about everything, and sometimes I’m not ready to but you do a really good job of pulling those things out of me by questioning or asking. Where sometimes I help us have that space.
Aaron Smith: And I haven’t always been … I feel like I’ve gotten better over the years, and I’m still learning. Because it’s how we self-identify, like you’re an introvert and I’m an extrovert, we’ve kind of always said those things. I feel like it can often easily become a default, instead of actually considering what we’re doing with our life or how we’re walking spiritually or how we’re involving ourselves in our community. I can default in a bad way to wanting to go, and if it’s like I’m overwhelmed or I’m tired or if I’m lonely or all those triggers, my default could be like I just need to go spend time with buddies and friends and let’s invite people over, let’s fill that thing in me with relationships or people or excitement. Where on the other hand you might default to the other side. You know, you’re lonely or tired or stressed out, you’re gonna default to I just wanna go inside, I wanna go lay down, I wanna go be by myself, I wanna go …
So how do you feel like, for our listeners, how do we navigate that in a healthy way? Because we haven’t always.
Jennifer Smith: No, but I will say because you mentioned the differences, being in a marriage and being spouses of different personality traits, it is important to know where each other are. But also not to be justified in our responses and reactions to one another, just because we are more dominant in that one trait.
Aaron Smith: Yeah because how damaging would that be if let’s say you just always thought like, “No, I can’t do that, I don’t wanna do that, I won’t do that.” Meaning like going and spending time with people. On two levels it’s wrong because we have a call to be being around other believers, we have a call to hospitality. We talked about in one of our other episodes. But what if you just got your way, what would happen to me?
Jennifer Smith: Well eventually you would have needs that weren’t being fulfilled and I think I would just become more and more selfish in my thinking and my desires and my way of communicating with you. But what has happened over the last decade is that because we’ve identified our personality traits but we walk in understanding with one another, we give and take. And we’re really good about making sure that our needs are fulfilled and that you give me that time when you recognize that I need it, or if I ask for it, and vice versa.
So I think that it’s really important to know where each other are in your dominant personality traits, but it’s also really important to walk in understanding because that’s when you grow and you learn. Just like you said like you’ve learned how to be okay in those times when we’re not seeing people, and I’ve learned to be more hospitable and invite people over and be more …
Aaron Smith: Get out of your shell.
Jennifer Smith: Yeah, being okay with being uncomfortable really.
Aaron Smith: And a good scripture I wanna bring up for this, because again we don’t wanna just give opinions, that’s never our goal. But this is something that we wanna have a biblical mindset about, that we wanna have a healthy biblical mindset about, where we’re not just trying to like well how do we figure this out on our own? Well in Philippians 2:3 it says this.
It says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” This is a basic Christian that we should have as Christians. Not just in our marriage but outside of our marriage with every human being in our life. But think about the value of that in our marriage. If we’re both thinking this way, we’re not being conceited meaning like my way is right, and we don’t have selfish ambition as in I want may way no matter what, and we’re treating others as more significant than ourselves, then what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna tell my fleshly natural desire which is to get out and go and do. And I’m gonna say no flesh, I can see that my wife, knowing how she is because I’m walking with her in an understanding way, she needs some time. Like we’ve been going. We did church and we had a friend over and we-
Jennifer Smith: Just things have been back to back.
Aaron Smith: Things have been back to back. And you know what, my wife needs alone … not alone time but she needs downtime.
Jennifer Smith: Just to rest.
Aaron Smith: So I’m gonna say no to my flesh and I’m gonna sacrifice what my flesh desires, my natural state, my extroversion, and I’m gonna say, “Well hey let’s just stay home tonight and let’s play games with the kids, or why don’t you go take a bath? Or let’s read a book.” Something that is gonna feed that part of you.
Jennifer Smith: And I’ll tell you what happens when you consider me in that way, it does reenergize me, and the next thing that I wanna do is find a way to bless you. I wanna invite those friends over, I wanna go to that party, I wanna go do whatever it is that I know you’re itching to go do.
Aaron Smith: What’s amazing is when we walk in the spirit in this way, when we take the scriptures and like how are we gonna apply this? The more often I do that for you, not only do you get re energized and wanna repay me kind of, like hey I wanna bless you in the same way you blessed me.
Jennifer Smith: Which isn’t the reason why you’re doing it, it’s thoughtfulness, but it does happen.
Aaron Smith: Well because we’re a team.
Jennifer Smith: Being considerate.
Aaron Smith: Me doing that and considering you as more significant than myself, helps me, because spiritually when you get recharged like that, you actually do spiritually have more energy and more ability to step out in faith and step out in walking against your own flesh. You’re like wow that was really great. And instead of just trying to do it to please me, it’s not like you’re begrudgingly doing it, you actually find yourself enjoying those times and you actually get to … instead of it just being non stop and you’re like, “I’m just done, I have no energy left.” Actually help you have the energy to be able to walk in the scripture yourself.
How does that play out with you towards me? Because you’re the introvert and I feel like that’s a much harder place to be like … I don’t know, because an extrovert, I can still have a really hard time. You’ve seen me get stir crazy sometimes.
Jennifer Smith: Well I think the important thing to remember is that we’re not just one or the other, it’s not just that I’m an introvert. I’m more dominant of an introvert, but I still have an ability to be social and to engage and to enjoy that time. And so I think the most important thing is not to identify yourself and just live that way the rest of your life. There’s definitely room and potential to grow. I feel like I’ve really come out of my shell since being married to you, and just being more open to friendships and other relationships in that way. So I think that it is important that we know who we are and what our dominant trait is, but again just going back to that don’t justify it and be stuck in that mindset that no I can’t do that.
Aaron Smith: But that’s actually a really good point. There’s lots of things that we identify with in our life, in our character, like me calling myself an extrovert I’m labeling myself something. Like it’s true, like I have natural extroversion tendencies and I like to go and do stuff and it does energize me. But at the end of the day we wanna be biblical people, we wanna be godly people, righteous people. And you know what? Jesus tells us to take up our cross. And what’s the cross? Our pastor always says this, it’s the instrument of killing the flesh. That’s literally what it is. The cross is the thing that we use to kill our flesh. And so if my natural desires are just to always be going, all I’m doing is walking in the flesh. Not that, again, that that’s not a valid thing about me, but it’s definitely something that I should not use as an identity crutch. Like you said, like you just identify, like no I’m an introvert, I can’t do that. I can’t go do that ministry over there because I’m an introvert.
Jennifer Smith: Yeah I was gonna say that, sometimes when we have that label or that banner over us that we’ve placed there, that we’ve identified with and said, “I’m okay with that one because I see myself that way.” Then when God does ask us to do something extraordinary, sometimes we say we can’t or no, because we honestly believe that about ourselves. So we do need to be careful that our identity isn’t wrapped up in our personality types or anything else, but that it is in Christ. And that we know that we’re capable of doing so much more than what these labels say that we can.
Aaron Smith: And you know what, Christ wants our identity to be wrapped up in him. To be honest, no part of our identity … We just had a conversation about this at church. No part of our identity should be off limits to God. God can have my extroversion, he can have my cravings, my desires, my ideas, my hobbies.
Jennifer Smith: Your creativity, everything.
Aaron Smith: My creativity. It should be his. So whatever I think my identity is, it should be wrapped up in Christ.
Jennifer Smith: And I think that’s a really really important thing for our listeners to hear, to be reminded that a marriage after God is one where the husband and the wife both encourage each other to walk out their identity in Christ. I think that’s so important.
Just to go back to your question, I found that over the years the more I do give you that time and space to be re energized by socializing and I’m there by your side or we invite people over for hospitality, that it’s actually been super encouraging to me, and it has allowed this growth spurt in me. And I’ve seen how God has used it in my life to not only grow me but grow my other relationships, to encourage you, to give you that time, to be re energized by. So I have found huge encouragement in opening up my abilities and comfort zones to be able to host things and do things for you that I necessarily wouldn’t have chosen for me.
Aaron Smith: Which is a beautiful thing to watch, because aspects of your character start to get developed and come out that are really beautiful things. And people actually get to benefit from the fruit of those changes. And conversely I’ve had the same transformation, where when I realize that I can be serving you and be like well actually no my wife needs this downtime, she can’t keep going and going and going, let’s not do that. I learned to slow down. I learned to be content in less stimulus. I also, on a more practical level, it just gives me more time with you. It gives me more time with my kids. Just alone time, like quality alone time where it’s just us, no other outside influences. It’s just us.
Jennifer Smith: It also benefits us being home because then like let’s say instead of hanging out with that friend or family for long hours in to the night, we’re home and we’re preparing for the week ahead. And haven’t you noticed that sometimes our weeks go a little bit smoother just-
Aaron Smith: A lot a bit smoother.
Jennifer Smith: A lot a bit smoother. Just from having that time being at home instead of constantly leaving.
Aaron Smith: We just dealt with this on Monday, because we weren’t ready on Monday. And so it kind of got our week …
Jennifer Smith: It jolted us.
Aaron Smith: It jolted us. So we had to like catch up.
Jennifer Smith: We had to embrace it because it was a choice that we made to hang out the night before. There’s just that give and take in marriage that really is a beautiful thing and if we can learn to work through it and to navigate it and to have a biblical understanding of each other. I don’t know, I just think that it could be a really positive thing in marriage to be different personality types.
Aaron Smith: So that’s all really good, and it’s good to be considering these things. A lot of times we don’t discuss things that might … They’re just part of us. And they … When we don’t discuss them we rub against them and we bump into them.
Jennifer Smith: One of the biggest benefits of how we’ve navigated this is communicating it, by me letting you know hey we’ve been doing things back to back and I need this alone time, I need to be able to go recharge before I do anything else. Or you saying, “Hey it’s been a couple weeks, we really need to invite some friends over.” So I think communication is key in blessing one another, in making sure that we are getting recharged and motivated for life, and for whatever God has for us.
Aaron Smith: And remembering we’re a team. We talk about oneness all the time. If we do this back and forth, and we treat each other as more significant. And as it says in Luke chapter 6 verse 31, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If we treat each other the way we’d want to be treated, it’s good for both of us, instead of us just always trying to get our way and it’s doing this and it’s just tearing us apart. And we actually are incapable of doing anything great for God because we’re just so selfish and so-
Jennifer Smith: No, how much better it would be to use our personality traits and our ways of re energizing for God’s glory and for those missions and purposes that he has for us and for our marriages. So incredible.
Aaron Smith: So speaking of Luke 6:31, doing unto others as you’d have them do unto you, what’s a few ways that you’ve been able to do unto me as you’d want to be done unto you? That you treat me and respect me and help me in my tendencies of desiring lots of community and outside engagement.
Jennifer Smith: Yeah I would say that this is really important, like just having ways that I care for you and ways that you care for me. So a big one is hospitality, and making sure that I’m inviting friends over but also preparing those meals and making sure that just the night and environment and atmosphere is of peace and community and fun. Sometimes we plan game nights, sometimes we go out. A lot more during the summer time, we just go to fun places where the kids can run around. Just making sure that we’re having that fun time, which are planned. But then there’s other times where I need to be spontaneous, right? Even if I feel in my flesh that I really would just like to go … Sometimes after church I’m like I just wanna go home and take a nap, but something comes up, friends invite us out for hot chocolate with the kids.
Aaron Smith: Yeah and my face lights up. I’m like, “Oh really?”
Jennifer Smith: Yeah and I’m like I can’t tell him no. So just being available to adapt to circumstances and saying yes to things, because I know they’ll bless you.
Aaron Smith: A perfect example is you planned a dinner with some friends of ours and you just reminded me today like, “Hey we have dinner tonight, they’re gonna be here.” So I’m like, “Who?” You’re like, “So and so.” And I’m like, “Yes!”
Jennifer Smith: So excited.
Aaron Smith: I just get excited for it, yeah. Well and just something I wanted to bring up, knowing what your spouse’s natural tendencies are, when you see them go against those things, it’s actually a really beautiful thing and it’s something that you can encourage your spouse in. So if you are introvert, or if your wife’s an introvert, and she goes out of her way to plan something that is totally not in her nature, like use it as an opportunity and be like, “Babe, I’m really proud of you. I’m really excited and this makes me feel good.” And vice versa, where if your spouse is an extrovert and they’ve decided to be like, “Hey I decided not to go do that thing that I was gonna go do, I just wanna stay home with you guys.” Be like, “Wow, I’m really proud. This makes me feel honored and blessed.” And it helps encourage the dying to self, but it’s … be encouraging and use those as triggers for that.
Jennifer Smith: Now that I’ve shared some ways that I try and bless you, knowing your personality traits and tendencies, what are some ways that you bless me knowing I’m an introvert?
Aaron Smith: So I try and be very aware, when I know that we’ve been going back to back, because like Sundays, it’s an all day affair. I might ask, be like, “Hey what do you think about doing this?”
Jennifer Smith: There have been times that you ask and I tell you honestly, I’m like, “I’m spent and I can’t.” And you’re like, “Yeah no problem.” So being receptive.
Aaron Smith: I’ll adjust, things I want. I’ll say, “You know what let’s just go home.” Or why don’t we go home and you just relax and I’m gonna cook us dinner, because maybe she’s just been going all day and she just wants to sit, be on her phone for a little bit, play with the kids.
Jennifer Smith: Sometimes you don’t even tell me, you just jump in and start doing it and I look and I’m like should I interrupt him? No no just let him do it. This is so cool.
Aaron Smith: Yeah there’s other times where when we do date nights on Tuesday nights, I don’t … Even just asking, “Hey can we have people go …” Because we like double dating. But even just asking adds a level of like …
Jennifer Smith: It does, sometimes yeah.
Aaron Smith: So sometimes I just don’t even ask, and I let you assume that it’s just gonna be us and I’m just gonna do that. And sometimes in those situations you’re like, “Hey I called so and so, they’re gonna be meeting us.” And I’m like, “Oh really?” So just I think the biggest thing I do for you, I wouldn’t say they’re specific things, but just being aware and watching you, as we should always be doing, like aware of our spouse’s spiritual state, and emotional state.
Jennifer Smith: There are sometimes in the evening where you can tell I’ve just been overrun with the kids and housework and everything, you’re like, “Hey I got this, go, go to the bedroom, go read, go get in [inaudible 00:19:59] go get in a bath, whatever you need to do.” That’s been helpful.
Aaron Smith: Sometimes I’ve even said, “Hey why don’t you go to …” We have a coffee shop near our house. “Just go grab a tea and sit for an hour, and I’ll get us ready for the evening.”
Jennifer Smith: One time he came home a little bit early for lunch and he goes, “Hey go to lunch.” And I’m like, “Just by myself?” And he’s like, “Yeah.” And it felt really weird to even consider that, but I jumped in the car and I left.
Aaron Smith: She drove as fast as she could, she turned her phone off.
Jennifer Smith: The whole way there I was like, “This is gonna be so awkward.” But I enjoyed it so much, it was so great. And I was recharged. I came home and I was positive and happy and just refueled.
Aaron Smith: Yeah so I wanna, before we close, I wanna read one more scripture, just to get our minds … Again these are very simple scriptures of just treating others as better than yourself, considering others. If we just allow our identity to be, “I’m an extrovert and I just need to go and you’re stifling me and you’re hindering me and you’re not …” And if she was to go, “I just wanna be home and I never wanna go out and I …” We would just be … It’s called selfishness. And it’s just gonna break us apart. It ruins oneness, it’s wicked. And God hates selfishness.
So what we’re doing is this is an opportunity for us to practice selflessness, and becoming one and serving each other. And I just wanna read, in First Corinthians chapter 13, it’s just the definition of love. And in verse four it says, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.” And this is the one I want you to listen to. “It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
And so I just … It doesn’t insist on its own way. And so we can take these things and these natural identifiers in us and say, “Okay Lord, I’m gonna give them to you, I’m gonna put them on the cross, and I’m gonna learn to die to myself and to serve my spouse the way you want to.” And you know what happens? You think you’re never gonna get what you need but God knows what you need. And we just need to trust him and we need to walk with him and we need to walk in submission to his word. And it’s just a beautiful thing when you love your spouse the way the bible teaches you to love them, and that we’re selfless with each other.
So thanks for joining us today, we just enjoy talking about this topic of introverts and extroverts and diving into what our identities are, and how to walk selflessly with our spouses. And just the power that it is when we do walk selflessly. That we can actually see the lord work and it changes us, makes us more like him, and we just hope that you have an awesome conversation with your spouse about this as you navigate your own identities in extrovert or introvert tendencies.
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