The silence was piecing. We were done stripping each other down, done with the tiffs and the fights, now, we were both looking at each other, silently screaming out in anger. The situation had escalated far much more than we had anticipated.
. . . It had just began as a discussion, then to a debate which none of us wanted to lose. . .
Have you ever been at a point where you are both looking at each other with a hyperbole of emotions? Love, endearment and fondness, while still grappling with fear, angst, pain and disappointment? Have you ever wondered how 1st Corinthians can be personified in the life of a Christian couple?
Have you ever wondered how we ought to live and show Christ to each other when it’s never easy to love?
See it’s very easy for each one of us to pull towards our personal convictions, ideas, wants and desires whenever we want. In process of that, we end up sinning against each other because we do not want lose. In all that, what is the point of winning an argument, but lose each other at the end?
God’s desire is not merely that we reflect His truth in our conclusions, but that we reflect his character in our deliberations.
The thing is, the obligation that God lays upon couples is not to merely believe the right things, but to come to those beliefs in the right way. It’s not enough to arrive at personal convicting conclusions that reflect the mind of God, it’s also equally or more important to reach those conclusions in a way that reflects the character of God.
In short, what I have come to experience is that it’s God’s desire that we reflect His truth in our conclusions, but also, that we reflect His character in our deliberations. Therefore, if you two are talking, it matters how you talk about it, as much it matters what you talk about.
The Bible calls us to both truth and love. Not truth or love. Truth and love. Not the kind of love that refuses to name error, but also not some truth that is harsh and brutal. So, our pursuit of truth is to be carried out in a loving way, which is to say, a godlike way. This love is patient and kind (because God is patient and kind). This love is gentle and forbearing (because God is gentle and forbearing). This love is willing to move slowly and to rejoice at small gains (because God is willing to move slowly and to rejoice at small gains). It doesn’t give up easily, doesn’t have unrealistic expectations, and doesn’t assume ill motives. It acknowledges the common bond of the Spirit—that deepest possible source of deepest possible unity.
Couples, my concern about so many of today’s debates about marriage, debates like should I cook or not? Should I call her or not? Should I pick up his socks or not? Should I wash the utensils or not? Should I pass by the market for her or not? – are all still central to the self.
Even if you win many battles against your spouse, if the force is still the SELF, you may still lose the war. We may protect our hard convictions about independence, space, and all those little seeds that are sown in by cultural trends or societal pressures, but what would you gain if your triumph comes through scorched-earth battles that treats your spouse as the enemy and grinds them under foot?
Yes, God means for us to guard our hearts, He also means for us to guard the people he has entrusted us to. It’s not just the victory that is meaningful to a person, but the means through which the victory is achieved matters a lot.
Husbands and wives, let’s commit ourselves to be as concerned about the journey as the destination. Let’s ensure our discussions and debates are as marked by Christian character as our conclusions are grounded in biblical truth. Both are of equal importance.
Don’t just win the debate alone, win the war together.