1 Corinthians 1:10
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
When I read that verse, the first thing that comes into my head is “Good luck with that!”
Seriously, no two people are ever always 100% in agreement, 100% of the time.
I heard a quote awhile back. I don’t remember who said it. It went something like this: If you and your spouse never have a disagreement; then one of you is unnecessary.
A young couple couldn’t figure out why they should go to pre-marital counseling because they are so in tune with each other. They never disagree. They get a long so well. They’ve never had an argument. Finally, their wise grandmother said, “That’s because you’re not married yet.”
So what do I do with this vexing verse? How would this work in relationship with my fellow Christian sisters and brothers? How would this work out in my marriage?
In January, Dr. Phil and I will celebrate 23 years of marriage. We have actually known each other for almost 30 years. Let me tell you: we have had some disagreements. We have had some very emotional conversations and intense confrontations. What we haven’t done is scream, degrade, call names or become violent.
If we look into the wording of Paul’s letter; we find that he is not calling for uniformity but unity: going in the same direction for the same purpose. We may travel by different means but our destination is the same.
When Paul uses the word “divisions”; this particular use denotes “tearing apart or a breach”. Picture a gaping hole or a deep chasm.
When we disagree, are we creating a greater distance by the use of inflammatory language, yelling, or name calling? Are we tearing apart trust with our attitude or unwillingness to listen? Are we breaching the hull of our marriage with hurtful words and malicious accusations?
Instead, Paul is encouraging us to be “perfectly united in mind and thought”. The use of the phrase “perfectly united” denotes “healing a wound or making whole”.
Wow. Think about that for a minute. We can disagree without wounding someone. We can disagree and have healing and wholeness. We can have different ways of approaching a problem and not diminish the value of the other person.
Now, lest you should think that I am a marriage expert. Let me set you straight: I AM NOT A MARRIAGE EXPERT. I am still learning. I fail at listening and trying to understand. I get wrapped up in trying to be “right”; so that I end up being wrong. It’s a long process that I will never have down perfectly. But I keep trying. And a gracious Lord and a forgiving husband continue to love me.