Mark 3:25 says that if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. In the context of marriage, our unity is measured in three different areas:
emotional, physical, and spiritual.
Emotional: Our spouse is supposed to be our best friend, right? But over time we forget what we used to like about each other – even things we previously adored. We all can think of something here. Right? When we got married, my husband loved my passion, but as time moves on he’s learned that my passion comes with a price. My love of writing, for example, can be isolating, and I can become trapped in my head for hours without realizing it. Did you know Satan will use even the good things in your life to break apart the emotional unity in your marriage? My love and gift for writing, for example, is great when I’m writing to show women how they can move closer to God, but it’s a problem when my obsession for words moves a wall between me and my husband. Anything we love can come between our spouse and us: our children, our job, even those hobbies we took on to balance our chaos.
Emotional unity can also be threatened when we isolate and keep quiet, when we bottle anything that needs to be poured out immediately.
Emotional unity is a unique algorithm for every couple. There is no universal code to crack. It comes from plugging into each other, and keeping God at the center of the equation.
Physical: Okay, ladies, I hear you. This one has a tendency to make our eyes roll before another word is said. As we’re pulled in one direction and then another, this is an area where we feel like failure is our middle name. Because let’s be real, men need more than we do, and when we deny it, not only is it a sin against the plan for our marriage, it has its’ own consequences. When we aren’t physical as a couple, we allow Satan to use our tendency for lust, comparison, and our own vices to take control. Before anyone gets angry with me and comes at me with a pointed nail file, remember that physical intimacy isn’t just about that three-letter word. What about the kisses? The hugs? The hand on the back or on the thigh. Momentary physical contact that says, “I’m with you – and no one but you.” We need to come together as a couple and communicate our needs. Try to get on the same page. We might not get what we want 100% of the time (who ever does anyway?), but at least our spouse won’t have unrealistic expectations and we won’t feel like we’re always letting him down.
Spiritual: Our relationships with God are personal and grow at a unique pace. There are right and wrong ways to come together in a spiritual way. This is a simple list of Do’s and Don’ts.
- Pray for grace for you and your spouse. Allow them to walk at their own pace with Christ.
- Ask if there’s anything you can pray about for them. (This is not a statement like, “I’m going to pray for patience for you today because you’re being a jerk!”)
- Connect with God together when possible: praying together, reading the bible, watching faith-based movies, talk about God, etc.
- Focus on your own relationship with Christ.
- Push them regarding where they are in their walk. Example: “You should be”, “You need to”, “Why don’t you”… you get the point.
- Beat Jesus into them (this is my husband’s specialty).
- Compare your walk to theirs.
For Mike and me, our category of disconnection can depend on the day and the week, and on how open our hearts are to each other, without distraction to wedge a space between us.
Erin Whitmer is a blogger and speaker at erinwhitmer.com. She loves to encourage women and remind them they’ve been created to sparkle, even in the chaos of daily life. She is the mother of two boys, a wife to an amazing man who puts up with her shoes obsession, and her daily goal is to step out in boldness in all the ways Christ guides her. Sign up for her newsletter HERE and receive her FREE 7 day devotional, Praying to Move Mountains.
Stay tuned for more posts from Erin on Brave Girl Community as she continues this series on marriage called “Keeping Satan Out of Your Bedroom.” You can read Erin’s previous posts for this series by clicking on the following links: Are Your Ambitions Selfish?, Three Ways You’re Getting Tangled By Temptation, Whose Standard Are You Measuring Against?