My husband and I celebrated our anniversary this past summer and marveled at how much we had grown in unison with one another in 15 years, though we had thought ourselves so on the same page on our wedding day. It seemed reasonable to us that going to the same church, desiring the same lifestyle, and wanting the same number of children was a safe way ensure some measure of marital bliss and unity.
Boy, were we naive.
In marriage, quantity does not equal quality: quantity of time does not necessarily mean quality of relationship. Time loosens the soil in the garden of marriage, but it’s not what makes it grow.
To grow in heart, in unity, in conviction, in focus, and in love for God requires more than time; it requires purposeful, intentional watering.
10 Ways to Grow in Unity Within Your Marriage
1. Talk about the Gospel together, daily.
2. Go to bed at the same time.
3. Listen to good sermons online, together, and talk about them.
4. Spend time together that involves talking, rather than watching TV.
5. Study the Bible and challenging doctrines of the faith together.
6. Speak of each other as “we.”
7. Help one another make time for alone time with God.
8. Go on a date and talk about each other rather than the kids.
9. Pray out loud with – and for – each other at bedtime.
10. Always take inventory of the distance you’ve come, rather than recount the ways you differ.
These are just some ideas to get you started. Every marriage is unique, and each person responds differently in relationship. However, the principle remains the same where unity is the goal: Being of like heart and mind doesn’t just happen; you must nurture that kind of growth.
And for us, we now recognize that all our notions of being a couple with similar interests and tastes pale in comparison to learning, discovering, pursuing, and drawing out the hard things in life… together and in unity with one another. We now see that marriage itself isn’t what unifies two independent souls, but that two souls dependent on Christ is what unifies marriage.
What are some ways you and your spouse intentionally pursue unity?
Because of grace,