A House Divided

Many people would give credit to Abraham Lincoln for being quoted as saying, “A house divided cannot stand.” But, it was really Abraham Lincoln quoting the Bible in the introduction of his speech given in 1858. Jesus was the one who actually said in Matthew 12:25, “…every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” This scripture gives credence to our belief that a wife and husband should be on accord in order to run their house effectively. But, more specifically, it speaks to us about the spiritual beliefs of two spouses in the house. There are some instances in marriages where spouses decide to fellowship in different churches. While there are other instances in which only one spouse goes to church and the other doesn’t participate in any fellowship at all. In both cases, the house is still divided. We believe that marriage is a ministry, which means that it is a tool you use to minister to others. But, you must also understand that your marriage also has to be ministered to. Something has to be poured in, in order for you to have something to pour out. I can hear some people that may be in one of those situations saying to themselves, “there is nothing wrong with my marriage.” I beg to differ. Please don’t take offense, but you are in a dysfunctional marriage. Your marriage is functioning because you have accepted the circumstances as he/she just being the person who you married. So, you have learned to function with a broken piece. Being dysfunctional doesn’t mean that something isn’t working. It just means that it isn’t working properly. The separation of spouses, when it comes to worship, is like having employees trying to follow different directions given by different bosses. It sends the family in different directions. When the same covering is over both spouses the direction of the house is clear. The old folks used to say that there is more than one way to skin a cat. And while that sentiment may be true, we miss the fact that the various methods of skinning shouldn’t be tried at the same time on the same cat. For example, if one spouse believes in giving spankings as discipline for their child, but the other parent feels that punishment is the disciplinary action that should be taken, issues will arise in the marriage each time that it is time for the child to be disciplined. An agreement or compromise must be reached in order to co-parent in harmony. Another example that could represent division in the house can be seen in the way each spouse handles finances. One spouse may believe in tithing ten percent of their income, while the other is not so sold on the idea of tithing, especially, if there is a substantial amount of income being brought into the household. Again, a compromise or agreement must be reached or issues will arise every payday. Just as in those examples of parenting and finances, we suggest that an agreement or compromise is reached concerning the place where you worship, or if you even worship at all. If some of the dividing factors are about style of worship, a good idea would be to visit the local churches in your area first and see if you can agree on any of those with the understanding that both of you may have to give something up in the deal. If that doesn’t work, expand your search to areas that may be a little further in distance and see if that works. Many churches now offer two different types of worship experiences. A more contemporary experience may be given on a Saturday night and the more traditional experience may be given on Sunday morning. This type of church now gives you the option to rotate experiences but still be under the same leadership, which is really the goal. It’s important to note that the Bible doesn’t speak specifically about spouses not worshipping together. But, it does speak to us about the fate of a divided house. We just want you to be empowered to do all you can to stand.

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