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Summary: In music the discords set your teeth on edge and make you unable to enjoy the music. An orchestra in harmony is pleasing to listen to and inspiring. Marriages in discord are merely surviving and not thriving.

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Marriage: Discord or Harmony

Genesis 2:18-25

“God said, it is not good for man to be alone. I will make a companion who will help him.” (18) God brought all the animals of creation before Adam, but no companion could be found among them. “So the Lord God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep. He took one of Adam’s ribs and closed in the place from which he had taken it. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib and brought her to Adam.” (21-22)

“At last! (Wow!) Adam exclaimed – She is part of my own flesh and bone! She will be called woman, because she was taken out of a man. This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”

Someone asked young children how people decide who they are to marry.

Kristen, age 10 answered this way, “No person really knows before they grow up whom they’re going to marry. God decided it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.”

Alan, age 10, said, “You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff you do. Like, if you like sports, she should like sports, and she should keep the chips and dips coming!”

Anita, age 9, answered how people decided whom to marry this way: “It’s better for girls to be single, but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.”

10 year old Ricky replied to the question this way: “Tell your wife that she looks pretty even if she looks like a truck.”

Marriages might be described as in Discord or in Harmony, a duel or a duet, discord or in harmony.

In music the discords set your teeth on edge and make you unable to enjoy the music. An orchestra in harmony is pleasing to listen to and inspiring. Marriages in discord are merely surviving and not thriving.

Marriages that are in Discord

Many marriages start out with a honey moon. The relationship from the beginning seems like it was made in heaven. But following the honeymoon reality sets in and many adjustments have to be made.

Carollyn and I got married on August 20 and moved to a small mobile home in Wilmore, KY where I started my first year of Seminary at Asbury Theological Seminary. We had to make many adjustments in our relationship.

There is a small community about five miles West of Wilmore called High Bridge. There is a high railroad bridge that spans a river. You can park your car and walk up on the bridge. From the bridge you can see two rivers that come together and form one larger river. One river is fairly clear and the other river is muddy in color. They come together and the water foams and churns creating small whirlpools.

Marriage is like that. Two different lives come together from different backgrounds and experiences. There are many adjustments and compromises as two become one.

During our first two years of marriage we did survive. We lived from hand to mouth. Carollyn was a senior in college and worked part time in the seminary library. I worked part time selling shoes as Sears and also worked at the University of KY selling pennants and misc. items outside the stadium.

For three years we did leave and cleave. “Cleave” means to hold fast and be faithful to each other in marriage.” We were forced to make it on our own. Neither of our family lived close enough to stop in and check on us or tell us where we were going wrong. I know this, survival is not a fun way to live. You are happy to just get through it. No one wants to stay in a survival mode all their married life.

Kenneth Chafin in his book, “Is There a Family in the House,” tells of an experience in his marriage during the first year. Kenneth and his wife Barbara bought a ham. They enjoyed ham steaks and ham sand witches. A big ham bone was left. Kenneth asked his wife: “Do you know what my mother would do with a ham bone like that? She would cook it all day in a big pot of beans and make a big pan of cornbread to go with it”

His wife Barbara said, “Why that’s exactly what my mother would do.” They agreed to have ham and beans and cornbread the next night.

The next evening Kenneth could hardly wait to get home to eat the delicious ham and beans. He could almost smell the aroma before he even got home.

He walked into their apartment but something didn’t smell right. He marched to the stove, lifted the lid on the bean pot and was horrified at what he saw. He shouted to his wife, “Where I’m from they say beans mean pinto beans.” With a feeling of hurt in her voice she shouted back, “Well where I’m from, when they say beans they mean green beans.” Finally they sat down and had a good laugh, realizing that the breakdown in communication came from their different backgrounds – one from Georgia and one from Okalahoma.

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