Restoring UnityAug 28, 2022
Trisha and I meet and talk with couples several times per month. One of the most common issues that we’ve observed is a lack of unity. The Bible calls it “oneness”. We would say it like this “They are on different pages.”
No one gets married hoping to argue all the time. No one gets married with dreams of name-calling and yelling matches. But over the course of time, if unity isn’t pursued, we drift to misunderstanding, miscommunication, and disunity.
So today, we wanted to share with you 5 Things that can restore unity and oneness in your marriage.
(They ARE in a particular order.)
I know that we beat this drum a lot, but get over it. This is the single biggest thing that I took for granted in my marriage before the affair. Everything that will be listed after this are all limited by human emotion, human reasoning, and human power. Prayer unlocks the power of the Holy Spirit in your marriage. Prayer paves the way for wise decisions, forgiveness, communication, patience…the list goes on and on. You want to change your marriage, pray for your spouse. You want to radically change your marriage, pray with your spouse.
2. Time Together
It is really difficult to stay on the same page with someone, when you spend no time together. We spoke to a couple a few months ago, and I asked, “Other than arguing with each other, how much time do you spend talking each week?” 30 minutes a week was their answer. You can’t grow in intimacy with your spouse if you aren’t spending time together. I have seen this play out in my own marriage recently. We have been burning the candle at both ends for the past month. We have been gone a lot and haven’t prioritized date nights or time together. No matter how good your marriage, it will catch up to you.
3. Offer Forgiveness
There are very few things that will eat away at unity like resentment. When someone is truly sorry for their actions and one spouse doesn’t forgive, unity and oneness is broken. How do you know if you struggle with this? Look at your arguments: When you are arguing with your spouse do you bring up stuff from the past that has nothing to do with the argument? Do you say at the end of the argument “We always fight about the same thing!” If you always go back to a certain mess up or fight about the same thing, you probably haven’t forgiven your spouse for that. Forgiveness keeps no record of wrongs.
4. Unfiltered Vulnerability
This is not only hard to describe, but it takes a lot of courage to commit to. This is a willingness to bare your soul to your spouse, knowing that whom you are sharing with can be trusted and what you are sharing is valued. There have been times that I’ve asked Trisha what was wrong and she told me, and it was really hard to hear. We’ve had conversations about pornography, lust, insecurity, betrayal, unresolved anger, fear, disappointment…the conversations aren’t easy, but they are life giving. There are times that each of us have had to trust that “If I share this with you, I’m taking a risk, and I’m trusting you’ll listen no matter how much what I say might hurt you.” This is so important to unity and oneness.
5. Physical Intimacy
If you have ignored the previous four things, number five will be very infrequent. That is why it is so important to invest in your marriage in the other areas, so that your sex life can be healthy as well. From God’s perspective, physical intimacy is not only the physical representation of the oneness you have in Christ, but also it is used in a very real way to help guard against temptation and overcome the lies of the enemy. We tell couples that they should have sex at least two times per week. Some counselors say 3-4 times per week. (I like their number better) The bottom line is your sex life will give you an indication of the unity level of your marriage.