couple hands “Scissor blades frequently go in different directions, but they are most powerful when coming together.” Three incidents in the last one month starkly stand out in my mind. All of them relate to oneness of purpose in marriage. During a couple’s retreat I attended, Rev and Mrs Kwame Rubadiri spoke about the need for spouses to serve together or in ways that complement each other, giving an example of their lives where they have always served in a way that allows them to be together. They seemed to imply that serving in church (and other ministry) should not pull a couple apart but help them achieve oneness in marriage. Later a friend was telling me that she needed to find out what her husband’s mission was so she could align herself as a wife to that and be able to support him. “If my husband goes to work out of the country today, the fact is that I will pack my bags and follow him. If he decides God is calling him to be a pastor, that affects me,” she said seeming to hold to heart Paul’s word in I Cor 11:9 when he says “for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake." She seeks to serve her husband in all ways. Finally last weekend at a seminar one man expressed concern that there were few common grounds between his area of service and his wife’s. He wondered if God could send one spouse to work in Wajir while the other’s ground was in Kajiado. It’s then I stumbled on an article by Ngina Otiende, author and blogger at Intentional Today, where in encouraging couples to seek unity of purpose, she challenged them to ask themselves this question: “Why does my marriage exist?” Why does your marriage exist? Ngina went on to explain: “I believe the reason we are married is because God thought we would have greater impact in the Kingdom as team of two. The dynamic of teamwork is meant to transform you to a powerhouse.Marriage is supposed increase your impact and effectiveness “Now you can be quite formidable as a single person. In fact some of the most sold-out, on-fire, storming-the-gates-of-hell-kind-of-people are single. And I believe that’s why God takes that singular power (or potential) and multiplies it in a marriage union. At least that’s what’s supposed to happen,” writes Ngina. Now I liked that. Do I know what I am called to do, and what my husband is called to do (Be), and did we have a game plan or revelation on how to harmonise these visions and agendas to be a formidable team in God’s kingdom? Ecclesiastes 4: 9 says “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour”. Jesus also said in Mathew that where two or three are gathered in his name, he is there, and many preachers and writers have pointed out that there is no better two than a married couple. Once you are married, you are not meant to walk (or cycle) your path alone. You are nor supposed to pursue your purpose in isolation. You aren’t meant to achieve your dreams alone. Becoming one, behaving like one, is part of God’s plan for a husband and wife (Genesis 2:24-25). Strong alignment is the secret to a truly strong marriage. Christian blogger Liam Naden compares marriage to a bike ride, where you have to stick together to stay together. Be on the same ‘journey’ – always, and at the same time. “Unfortunately, many couples forget to stay on the same road. They think they’re going in the right direction and are both aiming for the same place – which is of course to be happy – but they forget that the journey is the most important part,” she says. Ngina observes that for many couples, the being-marriedness begins to consume their energy and focus. “We get wrapped up with “us” – our lifestyle, our problems and squabbles, our future, our money, our careers, our family, our house, our vacations..us us us,” she writes. “We rarely pause to ask “Wait a minute… Did God have a specific thing in mind when He hooked us up?”” A purposeful marriage is made up of two purposeful individuals. You need to figure out what your purpose is as an individual first. What has God called you to do? Then harmonize that in marriage- two dreams becoming one. “Remember that purpose is not something you assign yourself. Purpose proceeds from God. He deposits desires and dreams in our hearts and then stirs us toward achieving them,” she asserts. The power in “agreement”, “unity”, “oneness”, “being one” and “covenant” holds the potential to radically transform your marriage.

Writer Dennis Rainey says that oneness is about a husband and wife who are grafting intimacy, trust, and understanding with one another and chiseling out a common direction, purpose and plan.

Intimacy. Trust. Common direction. Purpose. Plan.

He concludes: “A oneness marriage demands a lifetime process of relying on God and forging an enduring relationship according to His design. It's more than a mere mingling of two humans—it's a tender merger of body, soul, and spirit.”

Big goal, merger of body, soul and spirit. Is it even attainable?

Ngina says that the decision to work as one takes an intentional choice on the part of both spouses. Nadem says couples need to be one when it comes to goals, values and core beliefs. Do you want the same things? Do you support each other in individual goals? Are the same sorts of things important to you? Are you on the same page about fundamental issues such as bringing up children, lifestyle, finances, health and spirituality? “The more aligned you are in your marriage the faster you can move ahead and the more you can enjoy the journey of your life,” says Nadem. How to align yourselves Talk: No matter where you are in your marriage, think about and talk about your goals, values and beliefs. Align them as much as possible. Be on the same journey, on the same road. Prayer: Through prayer God reveals His purpose to you and your spouse. David Penley, author of Couple Connect says it’s important for couple to pray together. “Prayer acknowledges Christ as the Lord of your marriage. It connects you together spiritually. It allows you to hear each other’s thoughts and prayers, which helps you understand your spouse better. It brings a special intimacy as you seek God together. Hearing God’s word together fosters discussion of God’s direction and plan,” he says. Since God is the architect and builder of marriages, as we ask God for wisdom and search the Scriptures, He supplies the skill to build our homes. Kate Scoggins opines that you cannot have a successful marriage without prayer. Support each other: Nadem writes that part of honouring God in your marriage means to support and push your spouse in fulfilling their purpose. Husbands and wives unite and align on their individual purposes and thus the purpose in marriage. Have you found the purpose your marriage exists?

RESOURCES

http://intentionaltoday.com/why-you-must-align-your-marriage-to-gods-purpose/ David Penley WHAT IS ONENESS? — A Couple’s Bible Study http://liamnaden.com/the-power-of-alignment-in-creating-a-great-marriage/ http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/marriage/staying-married/gods-plan-for-marriage/the-foundation-of-a-oneness-marriage http://simplyoneinmarriage.com/oneness-in-marriage-part-1-what-the-bible-says/ http://simplyoneinmarriage.com/oneness-in-marriage-part-3-what-the-bible-says/

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