Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5, 6 NKJV)Observation: To be likeminded.
Literally, “to think the same thing” (see on ch. 12:16). Paul is not praying for identity of opinion on inconsequential matters, but for a spirit of unity and harmony, in spite of differences of opinion.
According to Christ Jesus. Mere unity or unanimity is not what Paul desires for his fellow Christians, but a spirit of unity patterned after the perfect model of Him whose whole purpose was to do, not His own will, but the will of Him who sent Him (John 6:38). This same mind that was in Christ Jesus must be in each of His followers (Phil. 2:5). [The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 6. 1980 (F. D. Nichol, Ed.) (643–644). Review and Herald Publishing Association.]Application:
We all bring certain "baggage" with us on our wedding day. Our baggage is made up of our upbringing in our families of origin as well as in our life experiences, both good and bad. Our bags contain our likes, dislikes, hurts, joys, pain, and sorrow. Some of the baggage may be light while some may be heavy and weigh us down. Regardless, we all bring our uniqueness into our newly formed marriage.
The differences can become pronounced as we enter the realm of parenting. How we were raised affects the parenting style that we adopt. Therefore, we each have different sets of values and expectations.
Children are very keen to pick up on the differences that exist and use them to their benefit. It is amazing how quickly they realize which parent will agree to their requests and which one is more apt to deny them. If allowed, they will play one parent against the other.
Scripture tells us that we need to be "like-minded". Talk about your expectations before you have children. Discuss important issues such as church attendance, school choice, worship in the home, media choices etc. Discussing and making decisions on some key things before baby arrives will help you as parents be united in child rearing.
However, even if you already find yourself with children and grappling with some key differences in parenting styles, it is not too late to have important conversations now. Just make sure that you have them in private, out of earshot of your children. Make a list of key parenting issues and have your spouse do the same. Compare the lists and then take one item at a time and discuss it until agreement occurs.
If you think this is hard now- imagine the difficulty that may arise if you wait until the issue becomes a reality. It is far better to discuss issues now, pray for resolution, and come to a decision you both can support so that you have a united front before your children. And, if confronted with a situation that you had not anticipated- stop, tell your child you must talk to your spouse, and that you will get back to them as soon as you both agree on a course of action. It is better to have your child wait. And, consider the message this sends to your children. You have made it clear that mom and dad will both agree on the decision.A Prayer You May Say:
Lord, where there are two or more, there are differences. Help us to be united as One with you. Lead us to be like-minded according to Your will.
Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.