“If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” Mark 3:25
Marriage is a wonderful gift from God. It’s the union of two unique individuals blending their lives together to become as the bible says, “one flesh.” This unity does not happen when husbands and wives become the same in every way possible. True unity in marriage is established and held together when couples celebrate what they share in common while at the same time learn to accept and embrace each other’s differences. Couples that strive to become “one flesh” know there is beauty and strength in both their sameness and in their differences.
But there is something seriously wrong in a marriage the moment a couple begins allowing their differences to become a place of division. When their differences become a place of contention and dispute their marriage is put in serious jeopardy. Because when division is accepted and tolerated in their relationship they open up the door for greater trouble in their marriage.
And sadly, many couples start their marriage off right from the start with some sort of division. They know from the beginning there are things they don’t like about each other and they choose to either live their lives trying to ignore what they don’t like about the other spouse or they plan on trying to change the other. Then over time these couples add more and more division into their relationship over what they don’t like about each other, and then they wonder where their marriage took a wrong turn.
How do you know if you have division or not?
If you or your spouse are saying things like “we are so far apart on this,” “we share nothing in common,” “we never see eye to eye,” “we disagree about everything,” and “I can’t stand it when he/she does that,” or “she/he is getting on my last nerve,” then there is a good chance there is division in your marriage.
Now I’m not saying you and your spouse have to agree on everything, that would be unrealistic for any two people to expect in their relationship. But it is how you handle your disagreements that determine if you will have division or not.
When you feel your voice is never heard, or if you feel you are always given in, or if you dwell on your disagreements and have a hard time letting it go, then you are dealing with division. Only you are dealing with it internally when you should be dealing with it externally.
Confront this enemy before it destroys your marriage.
If you feel there is division between you and your spouse I urge you to do all you can to deal with it and eliminate it. You cannot afford to tolerate any sort of division. Because where there is division there will be walls. Then walls will lead to greater division, and then eventually division leads to separation and then divorce. When you think about it, divorce is simply taking division in marriage to its maximum potential.
Division is like a wedge that starts out very small and seemingly insignificant. You don’t pay much attention to how small it is when it starts, but then before you know it the wedge becomes bigger and bigger until it has become a powerful force, powerful enough to separate what used to be whole into two halves.
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9
Making peace is not something we do when we try to not make waves or stir up trouble. We don’t make peace by being weak and passively ignoring our problems. We make peace by confronting the problem until it is resolved.
Think of the peace talks that goes on between nations that have been at war. They don’t ignore what they have been fighting over. But these former combating foes reach a point where they know the fighting must stop, while at the same time they know that some serious issues must be resolved between each other. And when it is done right, former enemies can become allies to each other.
Many peace agreements have been made between countries where there seemed to be “irreconcilable differences” between each other. And so it is with marriages as well. There are lots and lots of marriages that can testify to how they have overcome where there used to be division in their relationship and have made peace and learned how to embrace and celebrate each others unique differences.
If this issue is one that you face in your own marriage, then we hope and pray that you and your spouse will find a way to make peace and not war. May God lead the two of you on a path of reconciliation and unity that allows you to build a great marriage.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net