Monday, September 12, 2016

One Another - UNITY I

Among the “one another” statements in the Bible, several speak to the theme of unity.

Unity is important in a church congregation, but between spouses it is vital for a marriage to be healthy. In Genesis 2:24 it says “A man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” The Word says “they become” but in reality, it takes work from both husband and wife to maintain a constant state of “becoming.” It is a lifelong commitment, not a one-time event.

This idea of one flesh is confusing; spouses are still two separate people, with their own thoughts, feelings, tendencies, quirks and personalities. How then do we live out the oneness that God states is the nature of marriage? Romans 15:6, 2 Corinthians 13:11 and Phillipians 2:2 all use the phrase “of one mind.” This is of course not suggesting that two people will think exactly the same. What it is suggesting though is for people - for our purpose, spouses - to put their heads together. Communication is key, especially in times of crisis or important decisions. Husband and wife must discuss priorities, goals, and values. Each spouse must bare their soul (Phil 2:2 also says “one in spirit”) to the other sharing their dreams and desires, and in the spirit of unity come to consensus. This is easier when additional “one another” commands are adhered to, such as 1 Thessalonians 5:15: “strive to do what is good for each other” or Romans 12:9 “Honor one another above yourself.” 1 Corinthians 13 says that love is not self serving or proud, and it is when both spouses are thinking not of themselves but of their partner, of their union, that oneness is strived for and achieved

Too often spouses try to “win” against each other. In marriage, if one spouse wins, both lose. Husband and wife must approach all obstacles as a team, not as adversaries. James writes “Don’t complain against one another” (4:11) and “Don’t grumble amongst one another” (6:43) and Paul implores the Galatians “Don’t challenge or envy one another” (5:26) and more dramatically “ Don’t bite, devour or consume one another (5:15) All these verses come from the same place, advocating for the idea that we are in this TOGETHER. As spouses it our imperative that we act like it. As Lincoln said, “A house divided cannot stand.”

Instead of fighting, embrace each other. Be each other’s greatest fan, biggest supporter and staunchest ally. As Jesus says to his disciples in Mark 9:50

Be at peace with one another

It makes facing obstacles much easier when you are locked arm in arm, moving forward together.

No comments:

Post a Comment