A House Divided

· Quote,Education

But [Jesus] knew their thoughts and said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls…”

Luke 11:17 (NASB)

I remember reading a recovery story that illustrated the above Bible verse and the state of my marriage so well. I can’t remember who to credit for writing it, and this is my own version of the story.

Imagine a beautiful lake. My husband and I are in a canoe together, enjoying the scenery. I’m in the front of the canoe, paddling away. It seems harder than I expected and I look over my shoulder to see how my husband is doing. He looks confident and peaceful and gives me a sweet smile. I turn back and savor the romance of the setting and give thanks for my wonderful husband.

I keep paddling and again I am sweaty and exhausted and it feels like we aren’t making any progress. I look back at my husband again, and he appears to be paddling as well, but much more effortlessly. I wonder if I am doing something wrong. But I’m no quitter, and so I continue paddling with all my strength.

Eventually, I throw another glance over my shoulder and I catch my husband laying back, not paddling at all. I feel anger rush over me and demand to know why he isn’t helping me paddle. He quickly starts paddling again and explains he was tired. I feel empathy for him, after all, he’s been paddling a long time too. I apologize for my tone and decide to paddle with renewed purpose.

Not long after, my feet feel wet and I notice that our canoe is filling up with water. I quickly turn towards my husband, thinking we will have to make an emergency plan together, and it’s only then that I catch him: drilling holes in the bottom of the canoe. He sheepishly stares back at me. Shock washes over me. He swiftly tells me that he didn’t make the holes…in fact, he was trying to fix them. I feel confused, but I see him patching the holes. I stop paddling to bail some of the water out of the canoe. The water level recedes, and again, I pick up my paddle. My energy is low but I faithfully paddle away.

And then it happens. I’m suddenly underwater. The entire bottom of the canoe fell out. As I resurface, I gasp for air and look around for my husband. He’s treading water, holding his drill.

A house divided against itself falls. A canoe that has one person paddling and one person drilling holes in the bottom will sink.