Last week, we began a rather “big picture” discussion about the power of unity – specifically, what a united couple can accomplish through their marriage. And while we tend to think more “globally” at King’s Ransom, we actually SEE the daily miracles performed by just two people… fused by a common vision or goal!
Just successfully maintaining home, career, kids, AND relationships can be seen as a small miracle EVERY day! We KNOW – been there, some days ALMOST done that! But, when thinking about the term “miracle,” too many people look for those traditional Bible-worthy, earth-shattering, literal raising-from-the-dead, all-caps MIRACLES.
Yet, at King’s Ransom, we appreciate EVERY miracle… regardless of its size! “Little” miracles like discovering $5 buried in a pocket, just as your gas gauge AND bank account hit “empty”… or making it through one single day, when your teenagers actually get along and perform ZERO eye-rolls… or suddenly finding two whole FREE hours, to spend exclusively with your mate… those “little” miracles we should NEVER take for granted!
And those “little” miracles all result from allowing God to speak and work through your life, from being faithful, from having the right mindset and SHARING that mindset with those closest to you.
Start Together – The Power of Unity
The Bible actually TELLS us (in no uncertain terms) to be UNITED in I Corinthians 1:10, “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.”
We saw how our original “power-couple,” Adam and Eve thrived when they maintained open lines of communication with each other, shared a common vision and centered their relationship around God. AND… what happened when they DIDN’T!
God, Himself, summed it up quite simply in Genesis 2:18, “Unity is better than singularity.” And biblical scholar, John W. Ritenbaugh, puts his finger on the crux of this idea:
“God does not say how much better; He just introduces the principle… This is a positive example that God establishes from the very start: being united in marriage is better than being alone. But a marriage’s degree of success will be determined by how much the two minds are in agreement.
“Nobody – man or woman – has all the answers. That is why Paul commands us in the book of Ephesians to “submit yourselves to one another.” The idea of submitting to each other, is for the purpose of producing unity; two united can work and produce much more than one person can produce by himself. God does not go into ALL the benefits here, but He assures us that, “two minds and lives that have become one are better than one working alone.”
Tips For Changing The World Together
So, you can clearly see benefits can be found in marital unity – aside from that whole “bliss” thing! Who DOESN’T want a blissful, like-minded marriage?! Yet, sometimes we find ourselves not only “not on the same page” but maybe not even in the same book or LIBRARY! What then? Well, as mentioned last week, although NOT an expert or counselor, I HAVE picked up a few things along my 20-year marital path, which you might find useful to bring unity into YOUR marriage:
Think Before You Speak
It’s easy to say whatever we feel, in an outburst of frustration or anger. DON’T. Run that thought through your “Philippians 4” filter and only speak those words, if they’re true, pure, lovely, noble or of good report. If you just want to prove yourself right – chances are, you’re already wrong. If “guilting” your spouse is the objective, someone really needs to knock some sense into you. Never go for the win in a battle, at the expense of the war… remember that “big picture” mindset!
Remember Who’s Your Enemy
Your spouse is not your enemy. Your kids are not your enemy. Your boss is not your enemy. You have one enemy and – he’s not human. Ephesians 6:12 says, “…we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
The enemy is always looking for opportunities to attack you! But rather than poke you directly, he works through your relationships… especially those most near and dear. He looks for the specific sure-fire words to push your buttons, guaranteed to upset and offended, then he makes sure your spouse says them – right at your weakest moment. So make the decision together, NOW, not to let things offend you, and stick with it.
Your spouse is God’s gift to you, not your cross to bear.
Remove The Emotion
As Dani Johnson says, “A problem is just a task with emotion behind it.” In the same way, a fight is just a difference of perspective… with some strong emotions tied to it. If you can diffuse the emotions in your conversation, you can avoid getting offended and clearly identify the root issue in a disagreement. Odds are, you’ll likely find yourself in complete agreement with what your spouse SAID, but the WAY they said it triggered a defensive or angry response in your mind.
Try to hear their words as if you were someone ELSE… with no hurt feelings or past history involved. Ask yourself why it hurt your feelings. I’d be willing to bet there unforgiveness might be lingering there – either toward your spouse or someone else in your past who said something similar to hurt you. Clean it out!
One way to build agreement between you and your spouse is to work together on a SMALL project you both value. For example, you could decide together, each month you want to set aside $50 to give to the poor. Simple enough…and that first step on your marital walk with God, as Romans 15: 5-6 tells us: “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
And this shared charitable commitment will be a blessing to Your Heavenly Father, as well as, your marriage! Such a small allotment shouldn’t bind up your lifestyle too badly and you can both feel good about making a significant impact in someone else’s life. After a few months or a year, you might decide together to raise the amount or to build a home for those who live in garbage dumps or take care of an orphan’s daily needs. As long as you both completely agree on your goal, the sky’s the limit to what you can do – TOGETHER!
Show The World What Is Possible
Togetherness not only strengthens your marriage, it also serves as a walking-talking testimony to His love: “I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:23)
So as YOU “start small,” think about those “small” miracles in your life we discussed earlier. And now, imagine performing them in the life of someone ELSE… “small” miracles like providing food for just one child, for just one day… rescuing just one child, from the horrors of sexual slavery… putting tools into impoverished hands, to provide a sustainable living. THESE are the miracles we can directly attribute to the power of unity… working within God’s will. For more “miraculous” ideas, just visit KingsRansom.org!