“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near” (Phil 4: 4-5 – Vr).
The word understanding is translated in Philippians 4: 5 in various ways: moderation, meekness, reasonableness, justice. It`s a Latin term for tolerare, and it means to support, accept or admit opinions or behaviors different from those established by our concepts, education and social media. In fact, tolerance is one of the most useful virtues in any kind of social life, especially in marriage.
To be understanding, we need wisdom, patience, and many other virtues. Someone wh`s understanding, sincere, needs to exercise his own domination, mercy and comparison, always being ready to help others. In other words, we need to be spiritually mature and full of God’s life, the true source of understanding. If He weren’t understanding, He would never go unpunished for the sins we previously committed (Rom. 3: 23-25).
Anyone who wants to be like this needs to rejoice in the Lord (Phil 4: 4). This means that if we are not right in the Lord, satisfied with His arrangement and plan for our lives, and rejoice in Him, it will be very difficult to be understanding with our spouse. The apostle Paul learned this lesson and encouraged Christians in Philippi to have this experience as well. He said: “ Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him (Christ) who strengthens me”(v. 11-13). He was arrested when he believed these words, he was persecuted by the religious and abandoned by many, even in relation to their basic needs. Nevertheless, he was sympathetic to those who didn`t treat him well.
We all have reasons to act in a certain way, and what is logical for us may not be for our spouse. This causes many misunderstandings. In order not to act impulsively and avoid fights, it is important to understand the other party, exercise wisdom, know what, how and when to speak. The big problem is that the intolerant are anxious and don`t measure their words or restrict their judgments.
The apostle Paul, immediately after saying that our tolerance is known to all, motivates us not to be fanatical about anything but to present our requests to God (v. 6). Therefore, we need to pray to the one who has dominion above all and present our supplication to Him. In so doing, we join Him. When we thank Him for everything, we are flooded with His peace, which surpasses all knowledge (v 7).
Those who rejoice in the Lord and present everything to Him in prayer don`t live hard, but are sympathetic to all, especially their spouse, who is fundamental to a pleasant married life and for maintaining family unity.