a house divided

"Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand." Matthew 12:25

Jesus spoke these words and how true they are! Whether it's been in a ministry or a job or a family or marriage, this statement has been true for me personally as well as seeing it the lives of others.
Speaking on a personal note, this has been so true in my marriage at times. When my husband and I are divided, only chaos, pain and destruction come into our family. It can start from the smallest and most unimportant things too. When we let our own pride control our responses, we stop hearing things for what they are and instead begin to interpret things into what we assume they are. We stop having an open mind and assume the best in our spouse and instead assign blame or poor motives onto our spouse. Maybe the motive behind what your spouse was saying was wrong BUT maybe it really  wasn't! Often times miscommunication is the real culprit, not an uncaring, unseeing, unwilling and impossible spouse. Time and years between people can cause walls to be built and triggers set to go off at the slightest sentence. Once, the same words spoken to one another in the beginning of a relationship can be heard much differently years later. We give more grace at the beginning than we often do years in. But that shouldn't be the case. Our marriage not only effects our own lives but the lives of those around us, especially our children. We are a reflection of Christ's relationship with us. Jesus poured out His grace and love and forgiveness through the cross. The very least we can do is offer even a sliver of that back to our spouses. Peace is more valuable than being "right". Kindness and forgiveness will bring so much strength to your marriage and to your children and home. Being Christ-like to your spouse gives rippled effects to your years ahead and to generations to come.
My husband and I, when divided are a mess, but when together on the same mission, thinking the best in each other and standing with one another, go so much further in life with so much more peace and joy. The Lord blesses us in such greater capacities when we are unified as one, like He originally designed marriage to be. He said, "the two shall become one flesh" (Gen. 2:24) and if that "one flesh" tries to divide from the other, it can only bring ugliness and pain.
There is power in forgiveness. Jesus showed us the ultimate forgiveness in dying in our place so that we can have eternal life. It wasn't easy. It was full of pain. It cost Him much and yet He still CHOSE to do it. It's a choice for us as well to offer forgiveness to our spouse. It may be a painful, uncomfortable choice that we feel costs us something BUT the power and strength it brings has eternal value. 
In this Christmas season, may we not just think of the birth of Jesus but also of the life and purpose of why He came and live in His example by how we love and show grace to our spouse.


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