“And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.”
Love and War
We’ve no doubt all heard the statement, “I’m a lover, not a fighter.” But what if there were a place for both? It just might not be in the way that first comes to mind. What if there were a place—within the context of our marriages—for fighting, but not with our spouses? Can you love and fight?
We’re talking about the active decision to fight not only for our own marriages, but also for the unions of those whom we love and walk alongside in biblical community.
What Do We Do?
Today’s Bible verses look at the picture of what the church does, its identity in essence. A few things are apparent here in the Word of God. First, we must be dedicated to provoking love and good works out of one another. Secondly, we have to also be committed to gathering together in fellowship. And lastly, we have to also be dedicated to encouraging one another, as we all await Christ’s return.
These are not easy tasks in and of themselves. And they are not necessarily any easier within the context of marriage and all of its busyness and conflict, duties and plans. This is, of course, why we must be wholeheartedly committed to our betrothed. And it’s also why we must be dedicated to the whole-person well-being of those who walking on similar paths and journeys with us.
Committed in Community
Living in committed community is an essential for us. We need other people to be fighting for our marriages, just as much as we need to do so for ourselves. This means living in fellowship with those who will point us in the direction of Jesus, offer insight and advice, and pray for our relationships as well. This may also mean meeting with mentors and disciplers, or even a counseling professional.
So, if the question is, “Can you love and fight?”, the answer is most definitely yes. But we must fight for one another as we follow Jesus, rather than fighting with those in our midst. Let’s be that difference and make that difference. This is unity in our marriage and within the church at large.
Whether you are married or not, do you have trust individuals in the church you can turn to? Do you personally know of any married couples whom you can encourage or walk alongside? Take some time to consider the steps you can take towards to discipleship, regardless of your marital status. How can you play a part in stirring up love and good works as you fight for the faith and well-being of ones you love?