Last week we illustrated how the statement, "Tolerance Does Not Mean Unity" can affect our family relationships. Today we would like to discuss how this statement weaves into our couple relationships. Let's get started!
Man and woman meet, date, see differences as insignificant, fall in love and live happily ever after, right? Here is our fictitious couple, Bob and Sue. Their relationship has been a pretty smooth and steady one for about a year now. Bob pops the big questions and of course, Sue says, "YES." They know they have some differences, but these variances have little or no effect on their future marriage or do they?
Never an issue until NOW! Bob and Sue have welcomed their first child, a beautiful healthy little girl. This baby is growing so quickly and life is going relatively well for the family. However, Bob and Sue are in complete disagreement on what to feed the baby.
Let's back up, remember the insignificant differences while dating. Turns out that Bob only eats food that is nutritious for his body. He has always been very conscientious about what he puts in his mouth. He views food as a form of nutrition and medicine. On the other hand, Sue enjoys her food. Sue has always taken much pleasure in her food. While they dated, they laughed at each other and their vast difference in this area.
No longer a laughing matter! Both Bob and Sue are very emphatic about their positions on how this child should be fed. You see neither Bob nor Sue have changed a thing. They both had "tolerated" each other's belief when it came to eating. This precious little life they created together has now brought the two of them to defend fiercely their beliefs on how to feed her. They have NEVER walked in "unity" when it comes to food. This disunity is tearing them apart!
Tiny little foxes. You can fill in the blank as to the insignificant differences a couple may "tolerate." The question couples need to ask is, will these "tolerances" always be insignificant in our relationship? The Bible talks about little foxes in Solomon 2:15, "The little foxes are ruining the vineyards…" You see sometimes the "little foxes" (tolerance) can destroy an entire "vineyard" (relationship). We want to make sure the issues we are tolerating in our relationships are not areas that involve our core values or beliefs. that could eventually greatly damage our relationship!
Is it a fox or not? Please understand EVERY issue you disagree on is NOT a "little fox." So how do you recognize the ones that can potentially damage or destroy your future relationship? Any issue that you "tolerate" which involves your core values or beliefs is a "little fox." You and your partner will not agree on every single item, but you need to have your core values and/or beliefs on the same page.
Your relationship matters! We encourage couples to be totally transparent with each other. Have the hard conversations BEFORE you say "I Do." Be true to who you are and what you believe. Think about a future when you recognize you are "tolerating" something. Does this have the potential to destroy your relationship? If so, confront those little foxes now and protect your vineyard.