UNITED IN LOVE, DIVIDED IN POLITICS
The two signs you see in this picture posted in the same yard - mirror what could happen where strong and different political opinions are held by a husband and wife.
Eight years ago, Jane and her husband Peter were zealous about the idea of a black President. They were not only united in love but also united in their desire to make history. They both voted for Obama.
This time, things are different. The excitement has been dulled by events in Libya and Syria and the refugee crises around the world. Though they both share the desire to make history, there is wide difference in their understanding of what that history is.
While one of them thinks that history will be made by electing Hilary as the first female president, the other thinks that a better history will be made by electing Trump as president since he is coming from outside the establishment that has ruled the US for decades.
Jane and Peter are united in love but now widely divided in politics. So, when Jane posted the sign for her candidate in front of their house, Peter wondered what would be the best response. Faced with the options of taking down Jane’s Sign or adding his own sign; the wise man chose the latter.
This is diplomacy at its best. He chose to express his view without telling his wife that she was wrong. By this act, Peter believed that he had not only taken action to keep his family united in love but also has followed the example of Christ.
Generally, every husband and wife is expected to be united in love. This expectation flows out of three factors, one natural, the other social and the third factor biblical.
It is natural that the opposite sex must unite in love for procreation. This necessity for the continuity of humankind and the process that it entails cuts across all cultures and religions and has historically been the highest expression of self-giving love between two individuals of the opposite gender. As a matter of fact, society even expects spouses to be united in love.
The Bible takes it further by commanding the man “you must love your wife”, even as in Genesis 3:16, God decreed a woman’s love for her husband in these words “…Your desire will be for your husband….”
In contemporary times, there is nothing in the public arena that divides families as much as politics. In most homes, husbands and wives are rooting for different political parties; in most cases, one being Republican and the other Democrat. The consequence of this is that political arguments often occur between spouses during the electioneering season, leading to tension or stress in family relationships. This stress if unchecked, may become the anvil upon which a deep rooted emotional separation is unconsciously forged.
In order to protect their family bond, some spouses have made a conscious decision not to take politics to their bedrooms. For this same reason, a wise spouses would not talk politics on their date nights or throughout the day of their dates.
Political arguments and its potential for creating emotional separation between spouses is so real and tense that some families decide to put a complete ban on political discussions in their homes. While this might be seen as an extreme reaction in some instances, it may be the wisest option for families in certain circumstances, especially those spouses whose love relationships have been fractured by disagreements on finances and or difficulties in managing their personality differences.
Even with the sovereign power under God's control, He still allows us to encounter the options of choosing life or choosing death while he gently whispers to those with ears to hear “choose life that you might live.”
Though politics might sometimes divide us, in Christ, we can always remain united in love.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rev Joshua Amaezechi, an ordained Minister in the Christian Reformed Church of North America (CRCNA), is the President of the LEMA Institute. He works as the Lead Chaplain at the Kalamazoo County Jail, Michigan through the Forgotten Man Ministries.
The opinions and comments expressed in this blog are exclusively that of the author.
The LEMA Institute or its Board and faculty is not responsible for any aspects of the information supplied by the blogger.