Sunday, November 25, 2012

Can Two Walk Together Unless They Agree?

Unequally yoked? Not at this Thanksgiving table.

Can two walk together unless they agree? It’s a Biblical question. A scripture quoted many times in my past. Usually to me. Or rather, at me. A question that got me to thinking.

Can a woman and a man be married and not agree on important issues?

I think it depends on the couple, their tolerance levels, and certainly what matters most. But I sat at a Thanksgiving table this year and watched my brother-in-law and sister-in-law in a very tender moment, express thanks for each other.

You see, I was there when they said their vows; nearly thirty years ago, and I wondered then if this unequally yoked couple would make it. At that time I was a member of a church that taught unless you and your spouse believed the same, walked the same path—your marriage would never last.

And yet, all these years later, I have to laugh because it was me who didn’t last in my marriage. Me. Married to a ministry team member. Thirty years ago, I was “equally yoked” to my Christian husband. Believed, submitted, and followed every edict of a church that said it was the only way to Heaven. The only way to stay married. The only way to be a true Christian.

Funny how I no longer believe that.

You see if there were ever two unequally yoked in matters of religion and politics, it’s my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. She’s a liberal. A Democrat. Where he is a far right conservative. A Republican. They laugh about it, knowing their votes cancel each other out during any election. He was a Fundamentalist who married a Catholic. The day they married, their beliefs could not have been farther apart. But love and respect was the glue that held them together. They raised two beautiful children, taught them tolerance, and love, and to respect the decisions of others. Not to judge. Not to throw the first stone.

Many years ago, they found a church they both enjoy. A church where they raised their children to love God. A church where they participate in matters of music and reaching out to those who have lost loved ones. A church where I’d be willing to bet, few know how different they are in their beliefs. Because it just doesn’t matter. Nobody is watching them. Nobody is counting how many times they miss church. After decades of being members there, nobody cares about their differences. What they care about is that they’re pillars of a community. A couple the young folks look up to. A couple who prospered in every area of life despite the fact the church we attended thirty years before, condemned their marriage. A couple who love God, together.

Can two walk together unless they agree? You bet they can. Because there’s nothing more important than love. Even God agrees with that.

Blessings to you and yours.

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