Lectionary Reading for Sunday: Romans 7:15-25 (NRSV)
A lot of television sitcoms revolve around miscommunication. Marital conflict seems to be a staple of humor to which most people can relate. Even single people had parents that argued now and then.
As I was typing pre-marital counseling in preparation for this blog, I mis-keyed “pre-martial” instead of “pre-marital.” For some marriages, “pre-martial” might be a better fit! Although we prescribe several sessions of pre-marital counseling before the wedding ceremony, it has been mentioned that it might be even more helpful to require a check-in after a year.
After living together for a year, most couples begin to discover their irritabilities. Usually there has been a fight that has resulted in hurt feelings on both sides. No one ever plans on repeating this if they can help it! However, we do end up fighting again even though this is not our preferred way of sharing life together.
And while conflict is inevitable between two people in close quarters, how one handles that conflict is entirely manageable. I try to lay out ground rules for couples such as keeping their discussion centered around the issue at hand. Most of us live by the rule that “the best defense is a good offense.” This may work in sports but in a marriage, this is highly unproductive.
If a couple can agree to this rule and keep it, they will find their conflict easier to resolve.
In today’s reading, the apostle Paul speaks of doing other than what he truly desires to do. We have all been in situations where we should have kept our tongues but we let them loose. How do we retain control of ourselves if our behavior is destructive?
Why do we do that which we know will harm us?
If Paul continues to have difficulties in Christ with his own behavior, what hope do we have?
Paul ends this reading with thanks to Jesus Christ even as he remains mixed in his allegiances. It seems that our hope lies in the forgiveness we receive but it also may lie in the strength we can have in Christ to change. It likely won’t come in an instant but will take discipline.
And maybe this is why we have difficulty making substantial changes in our lives! It is easier to revert back to what we know.
At the very least, we can look back and laugh at ourselves as we move forward in this life of faith!
Check out Sam’s Blog here: http://precedinggrace.blogspot.com/
Photo by Mark and Allegra Jaroski-B. via Flickr.com. Used under the Creative Commons license.