Marriage gems: What it really means to be one

Marital fruitfulness is based on a couple’s connectivity. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • What does it really mean when husband and wife are pronounced as being one on their wedding day?
  • How does a couple build this togetherness notwithstanding the glaring differences?

Authentic oneness starts when one builds an inner authentic self. Self-esteem and self-awareness are key to an individual’s self-image. In fact, self-disclosure that is essential in building agreement comes from an inner self that is not intimidated by what others will say or think. 

True, walking with someone whose way of doing things or looking at issues differs from what you are familiar with, is no easy task. However, once this hurdle is overcome, the benefits of being well synched with your partner and joy of achieving shared goals and aspirations make the journey worth every sweat. Why? First, we quickly discover that two are better than one. And, complement each other’s determination to enhance connectedness, unity and relational fellowship.

It is true that a branch cannot be productive unless it remains connected to the tree. Similarly, marital fruitfulness is based on a couple’s connectivity.

Perception 
Our perception will influence how we connect in a relationship. The level of sensitivity in which spouses relate and engage within a relationship is key to their continued intimacy. What you think about your spouse influences the level of your connection with them. Most times, our thinking determines our associations and choices. Therefore, what controls our thinking determines the direction the relationship takes. We must be deliberate to dwell on helpful thoughts that will flourish the relationship.

Our thoughts are key to not only determining how deeply we can interact with others who may have a slightly different opinion on things than us but how tolerant we are towards them. Perception helps bridge the gap between indifference and diversity thereby creating an opportunity to practice and show love and tolerance towards one another.  

I am a strong believer in that we should never allow ourselves to think we are better than we really are. A faulty view of who your partner is and why they do what they do can seriously damage your relationship. Pride makes it hard for spouses to be honest in the way they estimate themselves.

Belonging 
The goal of every spouse is to create an environment where authentic selves lead to a sense of belonging. The idea is to look for opportunities to create a peaceable environment for co-existence. When one spouse thinks about or processes issues differently, it should not lead to division. In fact, the human body presents an analogy that helps us see how many parts work towards the attainment of one goal. 

Many lessons that come out of watching a human body function. First, the body shows us the need for belonging. Second, it shows the need for interrelatedness between various parts. Third, marriage is a place where we are able to display our individual uniqueness on the whole.

Our uniqueness and gifting enable us to do our part in a relevant manner. As a result, every spouse must see their gifts as playing a complementary and not a competitive role. Embracing diversity compliments and enhances our oneness and productivity. When each person does their best with what they have, this enriches the relationship greatly. 

Every spouse needs to defeat hypocrisy with frank talk coated with sincere love. 
When we truly care and empathise with each other, our bond strengthens. Also, instead of seeking revenge, spouses need to look for better ways of relating and be involved in peacemaking. 
Finally, instead of greed, we need to remain generous and thankful.

Goals

Consider the age-old adage that “couples who pray together stay together.”  Likewise, couples that set goals together, also achieve together.  Schedule a time where you and your spouse can sit down and talk about what the future holds for you both.  What are some dreams that you would like to accomplish in the next one, two, or five years?  What sort of lifestyle do you want to have when you retire together?  It is just as important to regularly review the goals you have set with your spouse as well, to assess and discuss the journey along the way, as well as changes that need to be made as you progress into the future.

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