Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Third Parties And Three Sides To a Coin

The phrase “iron sharpens iron” is found in Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” There is mutual benefit in the rubbing of two iron blades together; the edges become sharper, making the knives more efficient in their task to cut and slice. Likewise the Word of God is a ‘double-edged sword’ (Hebrews 4:12), and it is with this that we are to sharpen one another—in times of meeting, fellowship, or any other interaction. Too often what passes as fellowship in the modern church is centered on food and fun, not on sharpening one another with the Word of God. In far too many instances, the only knives being sharpened are the ones used to cut the chicken.

There's a whole world of discovery, loving, and learning after the wedding and honeymoon. Whether you're a newlywed or have been married for what seems like an eternity, the marital relationship is one that requires constant attention, nurturing, love, and constant learning! Disagreements are sure to crop up in a marriage, but they do not have to lead to hurtful conflicts.

Many times it is not a question of right or wrong or black and white and this is just hard to see. Dealing with differences in opinions, goals, interests, desires, and so on, is like the way magnets work according to opposite forces. One side is positive, the other negative. In this instance, the terms "positive" and "negative" are not synonymous with "good" and "bad." They simply identify two different - but complementary - forces. In the same way, couples benefit when they learn to understand conflict as fundamentally difference.

It is a common notion that third parties in a marriage are bad news, we have always heard of crazy advice from friends or relatives that totally have no positive impact in bettering the union. However, there are some issues that make you agree that there may be three sides to a coin, a third party can help you identify that. In the face of flared emotions and complex differences, many couples can benefit from the Godly counsel of another christian couple. I say couple and not individual because often women find it easier to understand and interpret what is going on with her fellow woman and the same goes for men. Even the third party need a third party, no one is perfect and we all stand to learn from one another. Like the UN they help "facilitate" conflict resolution, and promote peace by having an independent status and reputation. (a fair facilitator of peace has to have no invested interest in one side or the others argument). 

If a knife is blunt, it still continues to be a knife, although it is less effective. Let us therefore be encouraged to spend more time together, exhorting, encouraging, praying, admonishing, sharing God’s Word in situations that arise. A knife that has been sharpened will shine more because all the dullness has been rubbed off its surface.

Ijeoma Olujekun

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