Sep 18, 2015

Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? (Amos 3:3 NIV) 

Last week, I was telling a friend that everything will change once he gets married. All his commitments will have to be reassessed, one by one. His schedule will be drastically altered. And his plans will have to be streamlined.

Sounds restricting but actually, it’s the opposite. It’s liberating. Marriage forces a man to become wiser, more mature and a better leader.

A single man doesn’t have to convince himself to do something he enjoys doing. A married man, however, I think you know where this is going. Let me just say that most men would have never discovered their knack for storytelling, discerning the real meaning behind words, casting a vision and making an effective sales pitch if  they weren’t married. A husband knows that the prerequisite for success is filling up his wife’s love tank.

Two people becoming one is easier said than done. Imagine merging two completely different sets of brains, two completely different order of values and priorities and two completely different sets of desires.  One wants efficiency, the other values “enjoying the moment”. One values risk-taking, the other security. One is for being early, the other values beauty and fashion.

In marriage, especially in the beginning, there will always be a certain level of discomfort associated with coming up with a joint decision. A simple agreement can be very challenging. But it’s all part of the beautiful “oneness” process because at the very heart of marriage is this idea of unity. And every step towards discovering each other’s wiring, personality and character is an opportunity to fall more deeply in love.

The rule is this: 

Never, never, as in never do anything without an ENTHUSIASTIC YES from your spouse. Otherwise, it’s going to be a marital disaster.

How to do this 

1) Carefully consider what will benefit both of you. 

You say goodbye to self-centered living the moment you get married. You are now a team, no longer two independent individuals. Being unified means that you have a team mind-set and are on the same page. Your interests and your spouse’s interests must be considered simultaneously.

2) Don’t settle with win-lose agreement. 

Reluctant agreement is where one spouse goes along with what the other wants just to get along. Rather than winning, the reluctant spouse actually loses and becomes resentful and unsupportive. When it’s time to carry out the task, the reluctant spouse lacks the motivation to do so. This kind of agreement is essentially meaningless.

3) Tune your hearts to the voice of God. 

Never in history has a Christ-centered and Spirit-led couple ever divorced. Why? Because they are one in spirit. They know that their marriage is not about getting what each of them want. Their marriage is committed to reflecting Christ’s sacrificial love for the church and the church’s submission to Christ. Decisions made together that are Spirit-led are wiser than any decision you would have made on your own.

Heavenly Father, sometimes I forget that our marriage was designed by You to represent Your love. Would You show us how we might extend Your grace to others through our marriage? In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 


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