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Unity in Marriage

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Unity doesn’t just happen—in a marriage or in any relationship. Unity flows from our efforts to be humble, gentle, and patient.

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” Ephesians 4:2–3 (nlt)

My husband and I recently celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary. I’d love to tell you that it’s been two decades of bliss. Um, not exactly.

Don’t get me wrong—we love each other. I would love to tell you that both of us have always been humble and gentle, patient and peaceful— and as a result, unified and never in conflict. If you are married yourself, you know that’s not true. If you’re not married and think it might be, sorry to burst your bubble. Part of the reason marriage takes so much effort and commitment to make it work is that both parties involved are human beings. We’re not perfect.

We both love Jesus and each other. We have amazing children. We laugh together and can talk about pretty much anything. And yet marriage is hard. I love structure and crossing things off my list; he likes keeping his options open. The families we grew up in could not be more different. I’m a Cubs fan; he’s a White Sox fan. We are pretty much opposites on the Myers-Briggs profile.

As a result, we’ve had conflict. Getting along has required hard work, some painful conversations and a willingness to forgive each other repeatedly.

Unity doesn’t just happen—in a marriage or any relationship. In our friendships or families, we have to choose to be patient. Unity flows from our efforts to be humble, gentle, patient. We cannot manufacture such benevolence on our own. So how does it happen?

The phrase “in the Spirit” gives a hint. Jesus prayed for His followers to have unity, via the Spirit. Unity is elusive and fragile, unless we have Jesus.

FAITH STEP: Read this passage in several different versions of the Bible. Pick your favorite and memorize it. Write down ways to live it out in your marriage or other important relationships.

Written by Keri Wyatt Kent

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