April is National Math Awareness Month
Marriage is a two-for.
You know what a two-for is, don’t you? You buy one, get one for free. When you marry your sweetheart, you actually get more than just one free. You get an entire additional family. What a bargain!
April is National Math Awareness Month. Apparently, some of us weren’t paying attention when that celebration rolled our way. Mama told me, “Marry the man, marry the family.”
But the marriage math doesn’t end there. “And the two shall become one flesh. Since they are no longer two, but one” (Mark 10:8 NIV). Do the Math Awareness people have that one figured out? I doubt it.
God planned this unique mathematical equation: 1+1=1. If it sounds impossible, it’s not. But it’s not simple, either. I’ve been married 37 years. When people ask how we’ve managed to stay together, happy all these years, I reply, “I travel a lot.” We joke that after all these years, Ron’s concluded it’s “cheaper to keep her.” A sense of humor probably doesn’t hurt either. We’ve agreed to take marriage seriously, and ourselves less so. It’s hard to stay mad when you’re laughing.
God knew it wouldn’t be easy for us to set aside our “me first” human nature and put things in biblical order. God expects to be first, and wants our spouse to be next in priority. Romans 12 reminds us, “in honor give preference to one another.” That puts me in spot number three in my life, running contrary to my selfish nature. But if I prefer my husband and he prefers me, we are each well cared for and the relationship is in order as together we submit to God. But if I get just one item out of order—my job, or friends, even my kids—the math equation begins to come apart.
The good news is that God is there when we forget how to add it up. And since He created marriage, He has provided the manual on how to care for it and how to repair it when needed.
So go to the author of the instruction manual on marriage. The one who believed it possible, if not easy, to create one from two. “Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together” (Matthew 19:6). Although this sounds like a warning against outside influences, it’s also a reminder to couples that even we do not have God’s approval to blow up our marriages when things get tough.
Marriage. Crazy math. Questions? Go to the great mathematician. He’s got it solved.
Deb DeArmond is an expert in the fields of communication, relationship and conflict resolution. A writer and professional speaker, Deb focuses on topics related to the family and women. Kregel publications will release her first book in early 2014, focused on relationships between women-in-law. Read Deb at http://debdearmond.com
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