For the most part, marital disagreements seem personal to the couple and no one else’s business. While there’s some truth here, our marriage is not just about us. Our marriage is intended to be a picture of unity for others to see and learn from as well.

It doesn’t take long into marriage to realize we’re still two different people. And despite how much we love each other, these differences still have a way of getting under our skin.

The work of marriage is learning how to honor our differences while advancing our unity at the same time – finding common ground without losing our deep and true essence along the way.

And so the two become one and yet remain distinct.

We don’t have to look far within our communities to see the pain caused by our many polarized divisions and seemingly irreconcilable differences.

And like the application of many life principles, it first starts at home.

Of course there are exceptions. But, generally speaking, if we’re unable to work toward peace in marriage, it seems doubtful we would have what it takes to do so elsewhere.

But more to the point, the institution and ideas of marriage show us a picture of what unity looks like – a type of template as we seek to navigate our various cultural divides.

And, in this way, our marriage can serve as a light in a dark world.

It’s not that we’re perfect or have completely resolved all our issues. But our marriage provides an example of the commitment, love, and courage necessary to move toward oneness.

It seems few have the inspiration needed to pursue true unity without living models.

In the end, the world needs more examples of oneness and our marriage can stand in this gap.

Let your marriage be a faithful picture of loving unity for all to see.

Photo by Jose Escobar on Unsplash

One Comment

  • Washington Johnson says:

    Great article, Dr. Carlisle!

    After 30 plus years of marriage, I’m still learning how to improve in these areas. Thanks for your encouragement.

    The husband and wife at some point should come to realization and foresight that conflict is inevitable in relationships. Thinking of ahead and acknowledging are key steps to help prepare and navigate. Set boundaries about how to handle so that conflict doesn’t escalate into drastic behavior that presents other problems in the marriage. Focus on humility and love and keep those in the forefront of the mind and realize that emotions can sometimes get the best of us.

    Prayer is also helpful in the difficult times (individual and together).

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