We each have our own interest and desires. And yet we’re also created for relationships, which means we must learn to connect with others who have their own competing interest and desires. Finding common ground is the way toward peace and harmony despite our many differences.
In marriage, the two become one not by giving up their distinctions but by transcending them – unifying their differences within the common ground and higher purpose of the marriage itself.
And it doesn’t take long to realize just how extremely difficult this is to do. Our initial sexual and romantic desires might provide strong motivation to get started, but these can only take us so far.
Without some common core and unifying vision we soon fight exclusively for our own self-interest and eventually fall victim to irreconcilable differences.
Finding common ground allows us to discover a purpose beyond our individual interests. And this gives us great freedom to honor our unique expressions as we move toward this higher good.
For instance, within the commitment to become love, there are many different languages of love, each with it’s own beauty. And different expressions no longer divide as they’re all working toward the higher call of love.
This need for common ground is not just for marriage.
To be sure, friendships, workplaces, congregations, and even nations all need to share a unifying vision and purpose lest they too fall victim to the irreconcilable differences of self-interest.
Being in relationship calls for many sacrifices. But it doesn’t require us to neglect the essence of our being and loose those things important to us.
However, we must go beyond mere self-interest and find the higher good we both can wholeheartedly move toward.
This gives us the freedom to respect differences without feeling the need to blindly conform or fight against.
Transcend and enjoy your differences by finding common ground.
Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash