Several years ago, before our loft was littered with Barbie houses and LOL dolls, Mike and I decided to paint its dark, aqua-green walls. But, shortly after agreeing to paint the room, we ran into a snag:

I envisioned deep, bold red walls and he wanted light blue.

Standing on nearly opposite sides of the color wheel, we didn’t see eye to eye. I already had chairs and pillows in mind, perfect complements to a warm, rosy room. He wanted nothing more than to walk into the space and feel calm and free, sensations he was sure light blue walls would bring out.

After a few weeks of discussions, we hadn’t crossed over to the other’s side. But, Mike had a different idea:

“Let’s paint the room purple.”

As soon as the suggestion rolled off his tongue, I knew it was right.

Our friend Matt, a professional painter, helped us paint. As we dipped our rollers into trays of wet purple paint, I shared the story of our compromise. Matt mentioned that not many husbands would suggest a bright purple room. But, it became the perfect color for us.

The purple walls brought a peaceful feeling each time I saw them, and they filled my heart with joy. That joy only increased many years later as a purple-loving little girl we adopted took over the loft with her toys.

purple-loft-girl-toys-organized

Choosing to Unite

Today, every time I think about our purple room, a smile breaks out across my face. Unity is a choice, and compromise is essential—especially in marriage. Abraham Lincoln is famous for saying, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” And, Ephesians 4:3 encourages us, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

It’s human nature to encounter divisions, disagreements and differences of opinion. This happens in relationships of every kind. But, our attitudes and actions in times of conflict, not the conflict itself, determine our outcomes. If we cannot compromise when we see things differently from others, we will not stand.

CHOOSING PEACE

I believe Lincoln’s wisdom came from someone much greater than himself. "Every city or house divided against itself will not stand," Jesus taught his disciples in Matthew 12:25. And while Bible times and the Civil War are past us, the same truths apply today.

If we do not choose to prioritize unity, our relationships, churches, workplaces, and our country will ultimately fall. But if we embrace dialogue, conversation, community and compromise, we will stand. It's that simple.

The truth is: Our loft would have looked great with red or blue walls. But the best option for our home, our marriage, and our family—the one that brought peace and joy—was combining our ideas and coming up with something new. We painted our walls purple. Now, years later, we still say it's one of the best decisions we ever made.

Prayer: Lord, give me a humble heart that longs to agree with you, and others, so I may experience the joy of unity. Help me choose the path of peace. Open my heart to compromise on issues I'm stuck in only seeing my way. In Jesus' name. Amen.

If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. Mark 3:25

This devotional first appeared in the Monday Morning Survival Guide. Subscribe to get next Monday's devotional emailed to you.

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