Do you think that there are areas in our marriage that are not subjected to being one flesh? Or being unified? Or working together on the same team?
Maybe when you are out in the backyard on Thanksgiving day playing football with the family. Or when you have friends over and you’re playing an intense board game. But other than that I am of the persuasion that a husband and wife should always be on the same team, always united.
When we take a closer look at married couples in the Bible, I believe that we can back up that idea. This week in our Happily Married book club we are taking a closer look at this idea of unity.
One plus one equals one when you are married.
Maybe you don’t believe this idea to be true. Maybe you’re a wife who struggles with submission , so you fight against this idea with every fiber of your being. I hope you keep an open mind while we dissect this idea of unity in marriage because it has the power to change your marriage.
Debi uses the example of Priscilla and Aquilla throughout lesson five. They were a young Jewish couple who served and worshiped together, worked together, their goals were the same. They were always on the same page. Priscilla always willingly followed her husband’s lead.
Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Romans 16:3-4
The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 1 Corinthians 16:19
After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. Acts 18:1-3
Throughout the Bible, we never see Priscilla and Aquilla talked about separately. They were always together. Sounds like a strong marriage to me!
I love seeing that this wife helped her husband in his business. I love that she served right along with him, traveled with him and Paul to serve. Her identity was truly in her husband’s success, as it should be once we are married. This challenges me as a wife.
I am reminded of how many times I have fought against something my husband wanted to do. Am I proud of those? No. Did I need to grow as a wife and child of the King? Yes, of course. But I am also reminded how I stepped out in faith during his crazy pursuit of opening up a brand new Sunday franchise while working a full-time job at age 24! I watched and supported him as he drained every account- mainly our house savings- to start up this business adventure. People looked at me like I was crazy to be completely okay with his endeavor. And then again when we decided to pursue our own independent pharmacy at age 26! Many wives told me that they couldn’t deal with all of those over-the-top ideas. Yet I found it easier if it meant my man was happy. (Not that most days weren’t really hard and I feel a tad insane keeping down the fort at home!) You see, following your husband’s lead and being united is a journey. One area might be easy while we struggle in others. What was once hard to do as a new bride will not be a challenge 25 years later.
We like to look up and inspire to be like the Proverbs 31 woman, the Titus 2 woman, Ruth or Esther but Priscilla often gets left out. How many of us have read books about this lady or heard messages about her? I can’t think of any in my own life. I think she is one wife whom we should be striving to be more like.
This idea of complete unity in marriage is completely against our culture. The woman’s right’s movement is empowering women to rise up and take care of herself, to be bold and confident without the need for a man.
The world’s view today is the all-about-me attitude. Protect yourself, think about yourself, your happiness before thinking about anyone else is what the world has to offer. Even if it means not thinking about your kids and husband. Just do what you want if you want to be happy. This is totally against the will of God for our lives. True followers of the Lord reject the trends of the world and willingly give their lives to the cause of Christ and to the benefit of others. (pg. 58)
True happiness in our marriage requires us to be one with our spouse.
God’s view on happiness is quite simple. The Word of God tells us that forgetting one’s self and focusing instead on the needs of others produces the sense of unity and joy that God grants to likeminded and obedient believers. (pg. 59) When we follow God’s direction in our lives we reap the benefits of a more joy filled life!
The one thing that destroys unity in marriage is secrecy. Any kind of secrecy. Those tiny white lies, not telling the whole story because you don’t want to deal with your spouse’s reaction, or blatant withholding of information are all different kinds of secrets that damage your relationship. They are all equally damaging. When a spouse chooses to keep secrets, he is choosing to damage the bond of unity in the marriage. This behavior not only damages the unity but also the trust in the relationship.
In order to have a happy marriage that brings honor to the Lord, we need to be one with our spouse. We need to be intentionally seeking after unity in every area. It is not going to happen automatically and will need us intentionally cultivating it throughout our marriage.
Does this mean we need to forsake all of our own likes and dislikes, our own hobbies and passions as wives? No, of course not. God created us with these unique talents but we can not and should not allow them to come before being our husband’s helper. But they shouldn’t cause us to become selfish and seeking our own agenda. Like everything in life, we need to find the perfect balance.
Biblical unity and teamwork brings joy and stability into a relationship. pg. 56
I don’t know about you but I was definitely convicted to be more like Priscilla in my marriage. To be more unified with my husband in every area of our lives. Sometimes that is going to mean not holding back when I am not “into” his hobby or idea for our family. But doing it anyways with a cheerful attitude.
Debi tells us that unity is vital to a pleasant marriage (pg. 63).
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1
I challenge you this week to find areas in your marriage that are lacking unity and make an action plan to become more unified in those areas!
Your turn! How can you be more unified with your husband? Do you think you can grow in this area? I know I sure can! Let’s talk in the comments below!
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