“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
Raca means “empty one” or “idiot”
Jesus emphasises the importance of unity time and time again and nowhere is it more important than in our marriages.
We are different; hence irritation, anger and disagreement are normal. Disagreement is just a milder form of conflict. Yet we often either avoid or deny it and the issue goes unaddressed. This is no way to becoming ‘one’.
We are all to seek reconciliation, is there any unresolved irritation, anger or disagreement you need to address?
Prayer (as a couple)
Dear Lord, I thank you for relationships and seek to obey you. Show me where I need to seek reconciliation. If I have upset somebody nudge me to go and apologise, if I have been upset nudge me to go and share my hurt. In either case may forgiveness be sort and granted.
In my relationship with ….. help us to be open and honest with each other, speaking the truth in love, in the knowledge that neither of us is perfect and seeking unity. Amen
Prayer (for others)
Dear Lord, we lift up _____ and _____ to you. Help them to pursue unity in their relationship, to recognise when they are upset and to reconcile in a way that pleases them. Amen.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Mat 5:9
Reconciliation usually involves giving and receiving forgiveness.
Sometimes reconciliation of particular issues is difficult and it may be helpful to draw in a wise third party to help and talk through stuff. Don’t give up because it’s hard.
By the way – reconciling does not mean you have to agree. But it is easier to agree to disagree once you have given each other a good listening to and forgiven one another.