Monday, December 24, 2012

MARRIAGE ONENESS


Merry Christmas dear friends! May you each experience the PEACE ON EARTH right there in your homes that the angels proclaimed at the birth of our savior!
It's Marriage Monday again here at HOPE AT HOME and this time we are hearing from our good friend and fellow adoptive parent, Kate of  One Flesh Marriage. It's always the season to give attention to our marriages! 
If you have ever lived with another person, which I am assuming all of you have at one time or another, then you know how hard it is to mesh different personalities together. God has blessed in each of us a uniqueness that is all our own. Marriage is one of the places where encountering each other’s personalities, habits, quirks and beautiful differences is most challenging. It can also be the most rewarding. 
Marriage Oneness
The journey of marriage is a journey toward oneness -being completely known by your spouse with all the joys and blemishes. Getting to a place where oneness is nurtured and in forward motion is difficult with two totally different people. No matter how alike you and your hubby are, you are still very different. How do we move forward on this journey to oneness when we have unique and different personalities? Keep in mind that oneness is a journey, not a destination. You will be seeking intimacy and oneness all of your married life; you are not there once you say your vows. Believe me, I was that young, naive bride who thought we had reached the destination once we said “I do.” How wrong I was. Fortunately, God has been gracious with both of us and we are moving forward!
Embrace and Celebrate Your Spouse’s Personality
Just like you, your spouse was made by our most amazing God. We can celebrate our spouse’s personality or we can allow it to bother us. Many times opposites attract, so there will be things about the two of you that seem so different. At first we may think these things are great, then after years of living together they start to grate on our nerves. I used to dwell on all the little things that my hubby did or didn’t do and based them on his personality. I have come to realize how much that hurt him. Lifting them up and praising him for who he is-- that's how God desires me to be. 
Does that mean that when they make a huge pile of clothes on the floor, we just embrace it, smile and move on? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Embracing and lifting up their personality does not mean that we never share how we feel. Those piles are a good opportunity to serve and help your spouse out with organization. Then sometimes it is good to talk about the piles of clothes, if they truly bother you. Talk about how you can work together to a solution that works for both of you. 
Build Intimacy in All Areas
When we take time to build intimacy in all areas of our marriage, we find that there is a softening in our hearts and we are better able to extend grace to our spouse. Four critical areas of intimacy we focus on are: Spiritual intimacy, Physical intimacy, Emotional intimacy and Intellectual intimacy. Do the two of you spend time together in these four ways? 
Every day, you should have the opportunity to build up these areas with your spouse. The main thing that keeps us from focusing on at least one of these things daily is selfishness. We all work hard and at the end of the day many times just want “me” time. I would encourage you to be sure some of that "me" time is “us” time. 
Be Honest About Your Own Pitfalls
It is easy for us to point a finger and bring to light the short- comings of our spouse. Yet one of the best things you can do is to be open and honest about your own pitfalls. Share them with your spouse. They most likely already know them, but knowing that you see them and are trying to work on them, speaks volumes to your spouse and builds intimacy. Keep in mind this is not in a self- deprecating way, but a spirit of understanding the things God wants to refine in you. 
Seek to be the Spouse God Asks And Let Your Personality Shine Through
The question remains, what is our personality and what is something that needs to be refined in us? I believe that seeking God’s word for you as a wife or a husband is the first step. Look up wife or husband in your Bible. Ask God to reveal to you, what he desires for you and the wife or husband. After that settles in, seek God on your personality and how that fits. There may be things he desires to work out of you, and there will be things he wants to bring to the surface to compliment your spouse. How does this flesh out, you may be asking yourself. Here is an example:
If you as the wife are gifted in numbers, you may naturally have taken on the responsibility of paying the bills and handling the budget for the family. There is nothing wrong with that by any means. Yet the husband is designed by God to have a need to provide for his family and to see that provision. Your personality, designed by God is great with numbers. How can you seek God on making both work together? 
Working through these things builds intimacy through seeking God and good communication. Is it going to be easy? Not necessarily; sadly we usually struggle with giving up control in different areas of our lives. Yet, God is faithful and when we are obedient to his word and what he asks of us in our marriage, his word says there will be blessings.
Moving Forward? 
Do you feel that you are moving forward on your one flesh journey or are you stuck in the muck of your own self-focus?  Are personality issues a stumbling block? If you have worked through some of these things and are on the other side looking back, what would you share to help those who are in the valley?

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