What would you consider is the basis for building an effective relationship involving two or more people? 1 Corinthians 1:10 gives the answer.
“I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (KJV).
That’s two people whose hearts beat together; their minds work together, their plans are the same, and their objectives are the same. That’s cooperation, and that’s how marriage should work.
But the normal kind of relationship between two or more people today is competitive, not cooperative. One partner has an idea on how something should go, and the other partner has their idea on how it should go. Does that sound familiar?
This condition is described in Isaiah 53:6 as selfishness. The actual verse says,
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.”
You can’t build an effective relationship until you come to grips with this tendency of selfishness. Selfishness often happens whenever a decision has to be made between you and your partner. You don’t even have to work at it.
Talking it over, thinking there just needs to be more understanding, probably won’t work. It can just solidify your opposition to the other’s viewpoint, because the more you understand their viewpoint, the less you appreciate it. Maybe you try talking it over with friends. That too probably won’t work, for the same reason that just you and your partner talking it over didn’t work.
So when it comes to you both trying ways of coming to the right decision, and none work, you have to face the fact that you’ve hit a stalemate. You also have to face the fact that somebody has to have the last word and be the leader, or the problem won’t be solved. That’s a tough conclusion to come to, because even though you’ve tried ways to solve the dilemma, nothing has really changed. Why? You each still want your own way. You are still competing.
What is it that introduces the competition you still find yourselves involved in? It’s that selfish attitude that is still in control. Selfishness is the great hindrance to cooperation.
But you don’t need to be stuck there, in that spirit of selfishness. You just need a Savior. You need to surrender your competitive nature to God and let him give you an attitude of cooperation.
Read 1 Corinthians 1:10; Isaiah 53:6
TAKE A STEP
Do you want your marriage to work? Then make the choice to invite Christ into your life and into your relationship. Ask Him to fill you with a spirit of cooperation and choose daily to approach your marriage in a cooperative way.
Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? You can pray it right now, and Jesus Christ will come into your life, just as He promised.
Is this the life for you?
If you invited Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you and that you have eternal life. As you learn more about your relationship with God, and how much He loves you, you’ll experience life to the fullest.
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by Dr. Henry Brandt
Author, Teacher, Christian Counselor, Consulting Psychologist
This summary is from Dr. Brandt’s message Restoring Harmony in Marriage.
For over five decades, Dr. Henry Brandt— international consultant, educator, counselor, author, and conference speaker—has impacted the lives of scores of thousands of people. The legacy of his ministry is written in the hearts and lives of generations of men, women, and children around the world.
Used with Permission: http://www.henrybrandtfoundation.org
Dr. Henry Brandt, died November 24, 2008 of complications related to Parkinson’s disease. He was 92.
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