A house divided against itself will fall. Luke 11:17
“Far apart under one roof,” was the title of the story telling of the bitter dispute between Chana Taub and her husband Simon. In this unbelievable saga, repeated countless times around the world, after 27 years of marriage and four children, Chana and Simon’s love turned to hatred.
To put a halt to the bitter arguments, a judge ordered that a wall be built right down the middle of the three-story house that had been home to the Taubs. “Unbelievable,” thought the neighbors when they heard the sounds of hammers putting in the wall. Simon was unconvinced that his wife didn’t get the better deal because to access his second floor, he had to use a neighbor’s outside staircase, climbing onto the balcony, and entering through a window.
And where did this all start? Chana said it was a lot of little things. He wouldn’t flush the toilet or pick up his socks. And Simon said that the problem was that his investments went sour and he could no longer afford a lavish lifestyle that she wanted. She said he had a mistress; he denied it.
But there is one thing for sure. It started well and went terribly wrong, one irritation, one small, unresolved conflict at a time.
Long ago a man who was known as the wisest in all the world wrote, “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom” (Song of Solomon 2:15). The writer was King Solomon of the Bible book, Song of Solomon. He wrote those words, comparing the annoying, little things that pop up in a relationship to foxes that play in a vineyard, eventually destroying the vines that provide a living for the owner.
Little things, when neglected, become bigger issues. Unresolved they produce the bitter stand-off that caused the Taubs to live in the same house with a wall between them. How many people, however, live in the same houses with walls between them—no, not the physical kind that separated Chana and Simon—but walls, nonetheless, that may allow them to sleep in the same bed but not as a husband or wife, eat at the same table but as strangers, and live separate lives.
Chana and Simon were stubborn! They refused to give an inch to the other so ended in a deadly stand-off. Jesus was right when He said, “A house divided against itself will fall” (Luke 11:17). Yes, the wall separating the Taubs did come down, but by then the house was owned by someone else.
If you answered honestly, what would you say? Are you and your mate “living far apart under one roof?” At one time, you couldn’t get close enough to each other, but maybe now, you are more than content when your mate is away on business. Life is too short to live that way. God never intended you to live out a marriage as a prison sentence. His will is to help you learn to deal with the little issues, keeping them from becoming a virtual wall that eventually puts you far apart under the same roof.
More than 160 times the word remember is found in the pages of the Bible, and often it is followed by the admonition to repent. Remember how things used to be? Then repent or acknowledge wrongdoing and strive to go back. Take the first step in moving toward your mate—for your sake, for your kid’s sake, and for the sake of your marriage.
God’s plan is that you learn to live in harmony and discover that “two cannot walk together unless they agree.” (Amos 3:3) If it seems impossible, ask God to lead you to the right help as soon as possible, but take down that wall.
Resource reading: Song of Solomon 2:1-17