Right, so in marriage, it’s actually a union of two people, not one. And so we are, where we start with in marriage is acknowledging that we are very different. We have different perspectives. And we think about things differently. We value things differently. We have different perceptions of what just happened. We have different perspectives on life, on marriage, on child rearing, on sexual intimacy, on just about everything of importance, and that is very frustrating. And the first thing that we must acknowledge is with, say, what God says to Cain after he has killed his brother, Abel. He says sin is crouching at the door, it’s crouching like a wild animal, and it’s ready to devour you. In the same way, we could say when differences between two people who are married together are there, be careful, because differences can lead to conflicts, can lead to frustration, anger, distance and sin. And so, be careful.
And so oftentimes, we see the differences in marriage. It’s hard, and we, you know, there’s a song that was written in the musical “My Fair Lady”, where the main characters just says, why can’t a man be more like a woman? And it just goes over and over all the differences, and we really resonate with him. And yet, it’s the differences that make marriage beautiful. It’s the different way of seeing things, the different way of perceiving things that actually give the marriage its texture, and it’s not just a marriage of two people who are clones, but there’s an opportunity for real good things in that marriage. Now, there seems to be this conventional wisdom these days where there’s this saying that we use that, let’s agree to disagree. And there is a pretense of wisdom to that, and I think there’s good intentions there. It’s a couple who is saying, we’re hopeless that we’re gonna be able to make our way through this, and this difference of opinion, and so we’re just going to cop out, we’re going to protect the relationship by agreeing to disagree. The problem with that is, just as the person who’s asking the question has started to see, is that it leaves things unresolved. It leaves us in a place of disunity and the more that happens, the more a couple agrees to disagree, the more alienation and estrangement. Can you imagine a close friendship where it’s characterized by agreeing to disagree? It wouldn’t be much of a friendship and marriage, first and foremost, is a friendship. And so we need to press in and to really have a different approach.
Now that’s agreeing to disagree is very different than, let’s see what God says, or Paul says in Philippians 2, where we really value the other person’s interests, their sensibilities, their perspective, what they value. That we put their interest above our own. And what they say, what they feel, what they saw and see, as a little bit more important than mine, and where it actually changes me, where I actually take it in. And so often when we agree to disagree, we’re really saying, I am unmoved by what you think, what you value, what your interests and desires are, what your fears are. What’s most important is my opinion, the way I see things. And when that happens, there will be no unity. And what Paul pleads with us to see in Philippians 2 is there’s a way, what brings unity is having the same mind. That’s not two people who are clones. It’s two people who have the mind of Christ, who took on our interests, who learned to think as Christ thinks, learned to value as He values, learned to put others’ interests, our interests, His interests, above our own.