#StateoftheUnion - Carrie Roark
It is the time of year for the State of the Union Address to be given by the President according to the Constitution. This speech is designed for the President to communicate to the Congress the administration’s view of the state of the nation. It is a healthy practice to regularly review and evaluate the status of things, don't you think? This is especially true of the marital union. So, what is the state of YOUR union?
Do you think of your marriage as a union? The word union is described as 1. A number of persons being joined together for a common purpose. Other definitions use the phrases of becoming one, oneness, and being undivided. A very close cousin to this word is the word unity which means the state of oneness, harmony, or agreement.
We see in the Bible that God values unity above many other things. He inspired multiple texts on the importance of protecting unity, often the unity within the church. One of these passages is Philippians 2:1-4.
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Here Paul is encouraging the church in Philippi to protect their unity by being like-minded with Christ. Many of you know that division among a church body can be devastating. That is why Paul is warning against division and disunity. Well, many of you also know how devastating division within a marriage can be as well.
When I read this verse earlier today, I was thinking about it being applied within a marriage relationship. Read it through with that perspective in mind. What if you protected the unity of your marriage the way Paul instructed the church to protect unity within a ministry? Imagine how your marriage would thrive if you both applied this verse to it. Picture your marriage if you were united with your spouse with tenderness and compassion, having the same love, and being one in spirit and of one mind. In your marriage, how great would it be if you did “nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit”? What if you always valued your spouse above yourself and looked out for your spouse’s interests above your own and he did the same?
What is the state of your union? Take time each year to reflect and evaluate your level of unity and apply this 2 step process for reflection. 1. Consider what may be creating division and make a plan to cut those things out of your relationship. 2. Discover the things that will foster unity and commit to building those things into your life.
Many people approach their marriage like a personal-happiness-plan. Its purpose is to make a person happy. But basing a marriage on feelings is like trying to land an airplane on a cloud bank. It has no density or permanence. How foolish to build something permanent on something as fleeting and temporary as emotions! Instead, build it firmly on the foundation of Jesus Christ and his example of humility and his passion for unity.
But what if unity has been long gone from your marriage for a while or you already feel it slipping away? Remember that God is a God of reconciliation and he is for your marriage. Commit to fight to reestablish that unity with wise counsel from trusted friends and with the help of a qualified counselor. We can help you with that second one. Working with a Christian counselor could be the next step for you in seeking the help you need. Reach out today whether the unity in your marriage is already broken or you merely wish to shore it up. www.roarkcc.com