Ben and I have a wonderful friendship and marriage. I would say, 96.98455% of the time we are on the same page. That’s saying something considering how incredibly different we are. He loves sports, I hate them. He loves the outdoors, I prefer the comforts of home. He likes the shade, I like the sun. He likes meat, I like bread. The list could go on forever. Even the differences throughout the years have become things we have in common in a sense because we understand each other so well.

This is why I am always so shocked when something comes up between us that at first seems so unresolvable. Clearly there is a very deep and different understanding, perception, desire, or conviction, and it feels as if we will never find a way to carry on. I tend to panic when these issues arise. I find myself thinking horrible thoughts like, “Obviously there is something wrong with this guy. He does not GET it.” Or if I’m feeling humble, which is usually not the case when there is conflict, I might think, “I am a total idiot. I’ll never change enough to make this work.”

By the grace of God, we have always found a way to keep on loving each other.

Friendships can run into these obstacles too. Differences arise. Friends you once felt sure shared your opinion on most everything suddenly have a different understanding, perception, desire, or conviction about something. They have been shaped by experiences you haven’t had, and vice verse.

Sometimes all the differences pain me. Sometimes I panic and retreat from people who I know and love because I’m offended, or feel stupid, or hurt, or confused. Sometimes I hit Ben with plastic hangers. OK, I’ve only done that once, but still.

All that to say, unity is hard – in marriage and in the friendships of life. Making it a priority in my life means dying to self – a lot. It means holding a lot of what I think and feel with open hands. Perhaps my being right is not as important as allowing love to flow freely (and hangers to remain where they belong.)

So, thoughts people? How do we do this? Give me some bloggy love and share your stories of how you have learned how to do this well. I’m all ears.

4 thoughts on “Unity

  1. steph carlson says:

    Wow – I could fill volumes describing the attempts at unity in marriage. I remember when I was first married – it seemed like EVERYTHING we did required compriomise – the route we’d take to church, how fast we leave church, when to eat, where to eat, blah blah blah. Yikes. Thankfully that daily surface was mostly ironed out which left those deep place that you stumble over occasionally or how ever frequently that happens in each marriage. They are much harder to resolve, that is for sure.

    One place I’ve noticed this with friends, is when they have kids. Before kiddos, I can have a close and intimate relationship, and then once they come, it is like there are a plethora of things we think about differently and do differently. And it is SUCH a no-no to talk about those things a lot of the time. Yikes.

    wow. This is a deep one Jess (= I’ll have to keep thinking about it…..

  2. Love is kind…. I try and remember this even during our fights. That we can share my thoughts, yet commit to kindness is important to J and I. It’s tough, but it’s important.

    We really try and spend time during neutral times to discuss how we can fight more fair. When we aren’t fighting we talk about how we can communicate better next time and what particularly hurtful things we do to avoid. Does that make sense? Someone told us to do this early in our marriage, and it has served us very well.

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