I have two brothers, one older and one younger, and a younger sister. The four of us are close in ages. There is only five years difference between the oldest and youngest siblings. There was an atmosphere of competition in our home and it seemed like there was always some kind of conflict going on. In a recent conversation with my sister, she said she thought we didn’t lover each other. I told her we did, but never expressed it because we were too wrapped up in our daily survival.

Proverbs 6 says, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19). The last item on the list, he that soweth discord among brethren, may have been an afterthought or it could be the root cause of all the others. The Hebrew word for discord is related to a judicial word marking the act whereby men’s position and destiny are decided (1777). It seems that discord could be an indicator of a lack of authority and rebellion against the sovereignty of God.

At the core of completion is a desire to have things our own way. The competitiveness I experienced growing up caused me to struggle as an adult because I was unwilling to let go of certain outcomes that I desired. In some respects, my stubbornness was healthy, but for the most part, I was continually disappointed when I didn’t get my way. It wasn’t until I found out my husband was having an affair that I realized discord in a marriage can produce disastrous results.

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