Christians who have been in the church for any length of time have probably heard about the “one-anothers.” The one-anothers are commands, sprinkled throughout the New Testament that instruct us how we should act. You know you should treat fellow Christians—and people in general—with kindness and grace. You should be helpful to them. You should treat them the way you would like others to treat you. But are you as conscientious when it comes to applying the one-anothers to how you treat your mate?
Love One Another
“Love one another” is the most familiar of these commands. It is repeated 14 times. I Thessalonians 3:12 even emphasizes that we should “make our love increase and overflow for each other.”
In addition, the Bible gives us many other positive behaviors we should adopt. It tells us to honor one another above ourselves (Romans 12:10) and to accept one another as Christ accepted us. (Romans 15:7) We should also be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2 and Colossians 3:13). A powerful one-another to remember in marriage is to pray for each other. (James 5:16)
Those are some of the basics. We are also told to encourage each other daily, (I Thessalonians 4:18); I Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 3:13) build each other up (I Thessalonians 5:11) and spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
Attitude is crucial in how we treat our mate. Humility is paramount. I Peter 5:5 tells us to clothe ourselves in it and Galatians 5:25 reminds us not to become conceited—provoking and envying each other. Philippians 2:3 adds that we should consider others—including our mate—better than ourself. Looking for ways to serve our mate also makes or breaks a marriage. We should serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13) and carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Each one should use whatever gift he or she has received to serve their mate. (I Peter 4:10). That takes on special dimensions in marriage.
Living In Harmony
Certainly, following these guidelines when interacting with our spouse goes a long way toward having a great relationship. Nevertheless, conflicts will still arise. Don’t just “live with” conflicts. Resolve them! Galatians 5:15 warns that, “If you keep on biting and devouring each other you will be destroyed by each other. Instead, we need to be kind and compassionate to one another. (Ephesians 4:32) Don’t grumble against each other…” (James 5:9) and stop passing judgment on one another.” (Romans 14:13) When disagreements and disappointment with your mate happen, forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. (Colossians 3:13 and Ephesians 4:32)
The goal is to live in harmony with others. (Romans 12:16, I Peter 3:8). We know how to treat fellow Christians—giving them deference and encouraging them in the faith. Shouldn’t we give our spouse the same, if not better treatment?