For background and context, read Lee's Blog first.
The most important thing to remember whenever this situation arises is that righteous unity in a marriage or companionship involves three parties, not two. I recognize three possible scenarios concerning the unity of the three involved parties and unity with the spirit is directly related to unity between spouses.
1: Spouses not united. Result: no unity with the spirit
2: Spouses united in an unrighteous cause. Result: no unity with the spirit
3: Spouses united in a righteous cause. Result: unity with the spirit
Of the three scenarios, only one will allow the spirit into a marriage. The odds are against us. From my experience in the mission, there were two contributing factors to the threat of unity.
1) Culture/background: affecting our individual perspective on ideals such as work, obedience, study, etc.
2) Language: affecting our ability to have clear communication
In a marriage, these two components apply. We have all been brought up in a unique family culture and may differ from that of our spouse. Anything from how to load the dishwasher to Sabbath activities has potential to cause discordance in a relationship. The only way to overcome these differences is through communication. This, however, can also be a barrier. I have found that even though we both speak English, misunderstandings still exist. We must patiently, prayerfully, and with the spirit strive to overcome these road blocks. We must take their hand and follow them to their viewing point.
Lee mentioned something about assuming the best in your spouse. To me this means assume that they are also looking toward a righteous end. For whatever reason, what they are doing is their way to meet that goal. We need to trust them and support them. If we truly feel that what they are doing is not taking them to the righteous end, it is important to communicate. We cannot support them in an unrighteous cause or else the spirit will not be with us. But first, we must assume that it is a righteous cause and try to understand how their actions are leading to the righteous end. If it isn’t, the spirit will testify of the right path and since both are seeking righteousness, both will feel and accept the teachings of the spirit. We will know we are doing right because the three-fold unity will result.
Your mission has blessed yours and so many others lives. What a blessing to have this as a background in beginning your marriage. You are absolutely right. As long as you will put the Lord first in your marriage, humbly take each others hand and follow the counsel given by Him, you will definitely end up on His side! How very important it is that we know our spouse VERY well before we enter into this new and everlasting covenant!
I have always loved your insights. When I'm getting ready to get married (several years down the road) and then when I am married I will probably call you every day because you are so spiritually brilliant.
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