November 5, 2020

When You And Your Mate Disagree

Speaker: Dr. Harold J. Sala | Series: Guidelines For Living | Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?  Amos 3:3, NKJV

Only a few weeks before her death at the age of 92, Audrey Duffield sat down and with no particular audience in mind wrote the following selection which speaks for itself.  People say that diamonds come in small packages, but, then, so does dynamite.  The fact that this little woman weighed less than 75 pounds and stood no taller than fifty-four inches should never lessen the impact of her powerful personality.  I know!  She was my mother-in-law.

“Would you like to hear how one minister and his wife settled problems peacefully and happily?” she asked.  Then answering her own question, she explained, “We made one decision in our marriage that we followed for 63 years. The decision Guy and I made was that we would never make an important decision regarding our life work until we were united in that decision.

“Perhaps you say, ‘Oh, well, you two had good dispositions.’  Oh, no!  Ministers’ dispositions are not all sugar.  My husband was a New Englander—you know, those wonderful but determined people.  And I was spunky with a strong Canadian background.

“The test came early in our ministry.  A change of pastorate was presented.  Down to our knees we went in prayer.  And we came up divided.  But there was no argument.  I felt Guy leaning one way and me the other.  But I never said a word.  And I didn’t go around crying or pouting either.  I just felt the answer down in my heart and left it there.

“Weeks went by.  Guy wavered, but for once, not me.  Finally one day Guy expressed his decision, ‘I feel the Lord wants us to remain where we are.’  What did saucy Audrey say?  ‘I could have told you that three months ago!’

“Now,” she explained, “these were both good churches.  The choice was not made on anything physical.  It was that voice way down deep.  Tears of joy in the Lord’s leading came, and we never ever had a feeling of a wrong decision.

“Years after this experience, at a mid-week service a young lady came up to me and said, ‘When you were certain, why did you not express your opinion?’  Before that young lady was halfway through her question, I saw her head nodding.  She was answering her own question.  She knew the decision had to be from both of us and be the same answer.  Never did we fail in this lesson.

“Friends, you must be united in your decisions in life, and God will bless [you].”

Years before, Amos asked the question, “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3, NKJV).  The answer is obvious.  Waiting and praying until God brought a kindred witness to their hearts was the way Guy and Audrey Duffield handled disagreements for over six decades of marriage, a track-record that few reach today.

The fact is that God doesn’t have two separate wills for a couple.  He has but one and waiting until He has brought the same witness to both eliminates harsh words and bitter arguments.

Does it work?  Having never heard that story, my wife and I have followed the same concept, and–yes–it does work.  It’s amazing what happens when you say, “Lord, what is your will in this whole situation?” remembering even Jesus prayed, “Not my will but thine be done” in the Garden.

Don’t waste your adrenalin, fearful that you will lose the argument and not have your way.  It isn’t worth it when you can clasp hands and say, “Lord, we both want the same thing, which is your will.  Show us what you want.”  Keep talking, keep on praying, and wait until you know or must decide.  You will eventually look back and be very glad you waited.

Resource reading: Genesis 20:1-18