Living near the Oregon Coast, sooner or later you're going to see it -- two seagulls fighting over a dead fish. It's a lot of squawking, biting, flapping, snapping, and tugging. But as soon as you get near, they take wing and float peacefully on the breeze as if nothing happened. If you hadn't seen it, you'd never guess that two seconds earlier they were trying to peck out each other's eyes.
It's a scene too common in Christian marriage.
It reminds me of the old couple my friend and I rented a flat from while in college. She dazzled everyone with her singing voice and extensive women's ministry, and he wowed us all with his accomplishments. What a marriage! Founders of a prominent conservative Christian institution, they were the picture of the godly, Christian couple ... at least until the guests left. From that point on, night after night, it was all daggers, claws, and fangs.
Some couples deserve an Academy Award for the quality of their public performance, but God is not impressed with our ability to fool people. Who we are when no one is looking is who we really are. And in the end, we are only fooling ourselves because God is always looking ... and listening.
Is love spoken in your home, behind closed doors? Or are you more like those seagulls, fighting over something that has begun to stink, turning to smiles only when the doorbell rings?
Are dead fish really worth fighting over? Marriage can be filled with an undercurrent of continual tension and conflict over many unimportant things -- or it can be completely absent of this life-draining sin. Yes, sin -- that's what a spirit and practice of strife really is.
Arguing isn't something that happens to us. It's what we choose to do.
[Read the rest of the article at The Time-Warp Wife.]