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Shoulder to Shoulder
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I looked at the faces of the couple pictured in the news story—married 67 years—and saw the love shining in their eyes. As a young man, he’d been taken prisoner of war by the Japanese and forced to build warships for their fleet. Eventually he, and the lovely lady he fell in love with, came to the United States as impoverished immigrants. But they knew how to work and how to dream. The news story was a tribute to their contributions to the community in family and in leadership.

There is an old saying that “Love is not standing face to face staring into each other’s eyes. It is standing shoulder to shoulder, looking in the same direction.”

If a marriage is to last, it must bear that unity of intent and purpose. There might be disagreements on the How-to’s and Why’s of things. Sitting eye-to-eye to talk it out is a good thing. But after the talk comes the action.

Blessed is the family whose children understand the united front—everyone working to achieve a common goal—everyone realizing that there will be a “gap in the fortress” if they do not fulfill their part.

It’s hard in our electronic “tech” world for children and youth to see their role in the “antiquated” world of their parents and grandparents. Fortunate are the young people whose family members form a united front and provide them with goals and direction. (It is so easy to just give up—to mourn the influences that have drawn a precious child away—and believe that there is nothing that can be done.)

Family Fortress Strong

There is something! Keep the family fortress strong—the gates ever open to the wandering one. Though he or she may turn a back on you, be united in your open arms to your child. Even when it has to be a “tough love” situation, stand united. And PRAY!

Be united in your prayers. That is the ideal. But not every couple has grown together praying together. So YOU pray for the unity you need. Pray for the unity in Jesus Christ which He so desires to have with you. And pray for your spouse and each child, in-law, and grandchild.

Don’t stop there. Pray for your church family; especially for the young people and children there. Pray for the pastors and leaders, the lonely, the grieving, the people you see every week, the strangers, the students in the various schools.

The counsel Paul offered to the church members in Philippi applies also to relationships within the family: “Do nothing out of rivalry or vanity; but in humility, regarding each other as better than yourselves—look out for each other’s interests and not just for your own. Let your attitude toward one another be governed by your being in union with the Messiah Yeshua….” (Philippians 2:3-5 CJB).

As we pray, are we not standing “shoulder to shoulder” with Christ!

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By Lois Pecce. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the COMPLETE JEWISH BIBLE ©.

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