Political issues can be challenging in any relationship, but they’re especially challenging for a married couple. No matter how serious your political differences may be, those differences should never impact your marriage covenant.
The American political system has always been messy. But this election year feels like political issues are at an all-time high. Or, maybe more accurately, an all-time low.
All that passion and anger can seep into our marriages, of course. We might have heated disagreements on political issues, which can make for serious problems. After all, just because we sleep in the same bed doesn’t mean we support the same candidates.
Before I begin, let me stress something important: The issues facing our cities, our states and our country are real and, I think, significant. The people who are elected will affect how we live for years, and their decisions could change how our government operates for decades or longer. Those who say that politics don’t matter are, in my opinion, just plain wrong. We owe it to ourselves and our country to take our political system seriously.
But as important as political candidates, parties and issues can be, they’re nothing compared to the critical importance of your marriage. No candidate, Republican or Democrat, will cheer you up after you’ve had a bad day or hold you when you’re depressed or scared. They won’t share private jokes with you or enjoy special walks or pick up your children from school.
The relationship between politician and voter is nothing compared to the sacred union of two people in marriage. Candidates make plenty of promises, but they’ll never promise to be with you through better or worse. And they sure won’t say they’ll be by your side till death do you part!
No matter how significant your political differences may be, those differences should never have an impact on your marriage covenant.
But in such an angry, divisive political campaign, how can we keep our marriages strong? How can we get past our differences in political issues and love each other, regardless of what circles we fill in on our ballots?
I’m not going to lie to you: It’s not always easy. But I think if we follow three rules, we can agree on the beauty of our marriage in the midst of serious disagreement.
Recognize that differences — even around political issues — are good
Again, I’m not arguing that political differences don’t matter. Our beliefs and our decisions define who we are. Biblically, we should focus on three things in the political process: staying informed so we can vote in a way that’s pleasing to God, praying for our leaders and keeping Romans 12:10 always top of mind: “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”
Push against the political season’s shrill, angry negativity and treat those who disagree with you with honor. And that’s especially true if the person who disagrees with you is your spouse!
Remembering that God made us all different is essential. We’re different sexes, different races, different sizes and shapes. He gave us all different strengths and weaknesses, different passions and inclinations, and I believe He loves all of those differences.
For political issues, just like in all those other areas where differences come into play, “sameness” shouldn’t be our goal. Those differences allow us to learn from each other and enjoy seeing the world from a slightly (or hugely) different point of view.
(Written by Gary Smalley/ Focus on the Family, Sept. 20, 2020) https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/navigating-political-issues-as-a-married-couple/
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