WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 16, 2022
TOPIC: COOPERATION IN MARRIAGE
BY T. O. BANSO
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Mark 10:7-8 New King James Version)
Misunderstanding in a marriage is inevitable. However, that should not lead to serious conflicts or discords that could sabotage cooperation between husband and wife.
Unfortunately, that is the condition today in many homes where couples are hardly in agreement concerning anything. Each person does what seems right in his or her eyes and the inputs or opinions of the other party are not considered necessary. This is not God’s plan for the home. Is there cooperation in your marriage? Are you a cooperative spouse?
Mark 10:7-8 says, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh” (New King James Version). This is a reference to Genesis 2:24, which is also quoted in Matthew 19:5 and Ephesians 5:31.
After marriage, couples must work towards becoming truly one. There cannot be peace in a home that is being run contrary to the pattern that God, who instituted marriage, has given. The husband and the wife ought to run their home as one, not working at cross purposes.
Men are indeed different from women. They think and feel differently, and could have different opinions on issues. However, these differences should be a blessing, not a curse. The couple could harness the differences for the good of the home. They should not be allowed to tear the home apart, but to make the home united and flourish.
For this to be possible, couples must avoid selfishness and egoism that work against achieving cooperation in the home. This could engender stubbornness, making each person stick to his or her own ideas. When this is prolonged, it could tear the family apart through separation or divorce. The Bible says God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). Couples should hate it too. And it is avoidable where couples obey the Word of God and listen to the Holy Spirit.
Couples should understand that separation or divorce is not about them alone. The children are involved and suffer the consequences even more than they do. According to a researcher, children of separation and divorce experience academic difficulties, including lower grades. They are more likely to drop out of school prematurely and experience greater disruptive behaviours, higher rates of depressed moods, lower self-esteem, and emotional distress.
Other likely consequences of separation and divorce on children are poverty, educational failure, early risky sexual activity, non-marital childbirth, early marriage, cohabitation, marital discord and divorce. These are huge problems that the contending couples hardly consider.
Couples should work towards ensuring there is no division just as there should be no divisions in the church. “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10 New King James Version). This Pauline instruction is applicable to marriage. Similarly, Peter said, “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous” (1 Peter 3:8 New King James Version). This is also applicable to marriage.
In Isaac’s family, his wife, Rebekah, worked against him. The home was divided. Isaac favoured Esau; Rebekah favoured Jacob (Genesis 27). There was no more peace between the two brothers. There should be openness and transparency in communication between couples. They should discuss and avoid unnecessary arguments, which hinders honest communication. Rather, it creates avoidable tension. Couples should work as partners, not rivals. They should recognize each others’ strengths and weaknesses, and work for the success of their home.
Homes where couples work in harmony achieve greater success than homes where each acts independently. Experience has shown that in such fractured homes, resources are wasted because couples fail to sit down, discuss and agree on their children, goals, incomes, expenditures, projects, etc. only for them to be regretting later. The husband or the wife could be saying, “I know what I am doing.” The couple could be living under the same roof, but each takes decisions as if he or she is unmarried. But they’ll suffer the consequences later.
If you want your home, including your walk with God, spouse, health, children, finances, career, etc., to flourish, ensure there is cooperation between you and your spouse. Don’t be deceived by any progress you may appear to be making while your home is collapsing.
Maybe you’ve been trying your best, but your spouse is not cooperating. While you continue to do what is right as much as you can, keep praying for him or her to see the reason both of you should cooperate, especially in raising your children. “Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 New Century Version). The New King James Version says,“Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.” Be a cooperative spouse. Don’t destory your home through lack of cooperation with your spouse.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I pray for sincere cooperation between me and my spouse; let Your will be done in our home / Establish the existing cooperation between me and my spouse; let Your will be done in our home. Father, let there be genuine repentance by husbands or wives who are living contrary to Your will in their marriages. Let them surrender to Your will so that peace and cooperation will reign in their homes.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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