Finding the Common Denominator

I remember as a kid, a large percentage of young grammar school students hated math.  Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers were hard enough but dealing with fractions sent them into “lala land” totally mystifying.  One of the foundational things solving fraction equations is finding the common denominator.  You cannot solve the equation until the denominator, the bottom number, is the same for each fraction.  Let me give you a simple example: measuring “½ inch + ¼ inch =” cannot be solved until you find the lowest common denominator which happens to be “4.”  Now, the equation can easily be solved, “2/4 inch + 1/4 inch = 3/4 inch long”.  Finding the common denominator is essential to solving fraction problems.

Relationships are tough today especially between husbands and wives.  There are many fractures in our relationship that remain unresolved.  For example…

  • Our family of origins may be very different and unresolved hurts remain from those relationships.  This makes it difficult to communicate in marriage.
  • The same thing can be said of painful past experiences. Traumas thought healed come to the surface during arguments as life is lived out together.
  • Personalities are very different.  What seemed to be a perfect fit before marriage becomes a chronic irritant afterwards.
  • Negative self-talk suppressed during the dating days anesthetized by romance is now active all day long creating hard feelings daily.
  • You want different things no longer sharing the same worldview.
  • Estrogen and testosterone create different reactions and needs.

Relational fractures like the ones above are seemingly irreconcilable.  As believers in Christ with divorce out of the question, what do we do?  Many of us continue to live life miserably stoically ignoring our emotions. The “d’ word (divorce) does creep into the back of our minds and eventually moves to the forefront.  What do we do? 

Pam and I were at that spot in our relationship after years of conflicting differences.  We were tired of “gritting it out”.  What was the common denominator that would allow us to work on our fractures together and hopefully reach a solution that produced wholeness in our marriage?  We turned back to our shared faith in God. He became our common denominator. We started praying together and trusting Him with all aspects of our lives.  We discovered a sweetness and freshness that bad been lacking for years. His Word became our guiding light.  A couple verses come to mind:

  • Proverbs 3:5&6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Pam and I got on His path not ours.
  • Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  Pam and I started living a life of faith.

We praise Him every day for what He has done for us.  He will do the same for you!  Make Him your common denominator.

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