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Overlook And Compromise

By bro Lee Tian Seng

There will always be differences between couples. One should not be surprised when there are differences in view and thinking. These differences can cause conflict in the relationship. When differences are over harmless and non-sinful matters, we should not fight over them, but learn to accommodate and accept for the sake of peace and harmony.

Romans 12:18 - If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

To be able to accept each other, one needs to be tolerant and less self-centred. Loving one another helps because love suffers long or is patient.

1 Corinthians 13:4 - Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.

Ephesians 4:2-2 - With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Besides accommodating one another, couples need to compromise when it is difficult to settle differences that are not sinful, but are a matter of personal choice or behaviour. Couples need to learn to “give and take”, than to insist on their way. This way, couples will meet at the “middle ground” and achieve peace based on agreed terms. When Paul and Barnabas had a disagreement over the working partnership with John Mark, they decided to let each decide who to work with, without affecting their relationship and the work of the Lord.

Acts 15:37-40 – Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God.

It would be even good for one party to graciously give way to the other for the sake of harmony in the marriage relationship. It requires one to forgo his or her goals or rights and be willing to fully accept the other person. This could be a way out if the other party does not see the problem, and so need more time to reflect and accept his or her faults. This is only possible when one learns to consider the other party as more important than self.

Philippians 2:3-4 - Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

There is always a way to overcome differences when one seeks to do so in love and with faith. Couples need to love one another enough to show consideration and grace towards each other in resolving a problem that they have. They also need to pray for each other and believe that all things are possible with God’s help.

James 1:5-8 - If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

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