Thursday, October 29, 2020

To Love Is Not to Always Agree

 


(Lake Michigan sunset)

The man and his fiancé sat in my office. They wanted to talk about premarital counseling, and to ask if I would officiate at their wedding ceremony.

The man said, "We have arranged a prenuptial agreement." This is an agreement made by a couple before they marry concerning the ownership of their respective assets should the marriage fail.

I said, "I cannot do your wedding."

"Why not?"

"Because I see marriage as a covenant, made before God, that lasts through better or worse, "until death do us part." So, I cannot support prenuptial agreements."

That meeting happened twenty years ago. I have not seen this couple since then.

I did not hate them. I felt that I liked them. Even loved them, as God loves them. But I did not agree with them, concerning the prenuptial agreement. And this made them angry with me. Many will not like you if you are not in agreement with them.

To love is not to always agree. If that were true, we would hate everyone. No two people agree on everything. I say this humbly, after forty-seven years of marriage to Linda. Can you believe it - we do not see eye-to-eye on everything!

Disagreement can be dangerous. It can destroy an unhealthy relationship that is already unloving. The words "I disagree with you about that" is impossible for some to hear. If their relationship was truly loving, then disagreements can be voiced, without fear of being accused of being unloving.

In the biblical book of 1 John we read that there is no fear in love. Where there is perfect love, withholding disagreement would be unloving. 

One more example. Our church's position on marriage, to which I have long ascribed, is this: Marriage is a covenant relationship between a man and a woman, established by God as the foundation of family and human society reflecting the nature of Christ’s sacrificial love and devotion for His bride, the Church. 

If you disagree with me on this, please do not conclude that I do not love you. I don't agree with you. If I was dishonest about this, I would not be loving you. Because to love is not always to agree.

(For an example of two people lovingly disagreeing with each other on the matter of same-sex marriage, watch this video.)

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SEE ALSO

To Disagree Is Not to Hate

Welcoming and Sometimes Disaffirming

It Is Irrational and Unloving to Affirm All Beliefs