Saturday, March 6, 2010

March 6, 2010

“If a house is divided against itself that house will not be able to stand” Mark 3:25

You hear it at every wedding and you see it in the Bible and it sounds so wonderful – this thing about “two becoming one”.

How does that happen? That defies any mathematical formula known to man!

Obviously it is talking about unity.

You may think, “Well, if she would just agree with me all the time then we could get along!”

She might think the same thing. One thing is for sure, you can’t agree with one another all the time so how do you achieve unity when two people don’t always see things the same? How do you get it right when only one of you can be right?

To achieve unity and oneness in a marriage you have to learn to fight right and disagree agreeably.

Some of my best friends in ministry are guys that I have had heated disagreements with but because we both love God and we both loved the ministry and we loved each other, we fought through the issue in a godly way and learned to know and love each other even more.

That is what God wants for marriage. And your best chance at learning to fight right is to first learn what is right and fight for that. But how do I know what is right for my marriage? Ask God.

The key to fighting right is to learn what God says is right for your marriage and fight for that. That means that if my idea or my desire does not line up with what God’s Word says is best for my marriage then I give that up for the good of the relationship.

Several things that NEVER work and should be out of bounds in a fight:

1) Never drag up things from the past
2) Never resort to name calling
3) Never raise your voice
4) Never withhold sex as a weapon

You and your spouse should set down and establish rules for how to fight right. Use the Bible as your rulebook.

What will you do today to help you fight right? Will you fight through your disagreements and fight your way to a better marriage?

March 5, 2010

“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests but also the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4

I grew up in a very competitive environment and a very competitive family. None of us liked to lose. Somebody always has to.

Living in Indiana where basketball was a religion losing a basketball game was a catastrophe. Having a losing season was unacceptable. We never bought into that “winning isn’t everything” philosophy. And we scoffed at that “it isn’t whether you win or lose its how you play the game” nonsense. It was all about winning. I was fortunate enough to be part of teams that didn’t lose many, so I didn’t have to experience the agony of defeat very often.

And then I got married.

Marriage is an interesting relationship. Sometimes you can win and still lose. My competitive nature that had always served me well suddenly became a curse.

I discovered quickly that I needed to redefine a win. Actually it wasn’t that hard, I play the game and she tells me whether I won or lost.

Our Scripture verse tells us that our goal is to create win-win situations. Marriage should be a relationship in which each partner plays for the other so that both win. If I win and she loses, our relationship has lost. There should be no “I win you lose” scenarios.

In the larger context of this Scripture portion, it refers to the attitude of Jesus Christ, Who willingly lost everything so we could get a win over sin. His loss was our win. But ultimately He won because He pleased God. That is the consummate winning attitude and it is the attitude that builds a winning marriage.

When you have a husband playing to get wins for his wife and you have a wife looking for ways to help her husband win, the big winner is the marriage.

Creating win-win situations in marriage leaves little room for stubbornness, little room for pride, and little room for competitive contexts.
Do you recognize any prideful attitudes that are keeping you from creating win-wins? Are there area of stubbornness that are creating problems in your marriage? Where do you need to “take one for the team” today?