Just Being Honest
After the beautiful dress, the tears, the excitement and joy of the wedding day, the real work begins. What work you may ask? Well you see, in order to live up to the vows you so sincerely spoke, you must become committed to the process of becoming one with your spouse. Now don’t get overwhelmed by this statement or my next sentence. Along with the passion, joy and happiness, there will also be some hurt, pain, sacrifice and a total giving of yourself that will be required. I only share that harsh reality of marriage because there are so many out there that are struggling and on the brink of divorce.
My 2 cents
My theory is that most people are enamored by the idea of marriage but severely under plan for marriage. Hence the divorce rate for first time marriages hovering around 50%. What a travesty! See, my husband and I learned a very valuable lesson about marriage because we missed one crucial step. We never truly focused on becoming one. We negated the steps that it takes to merge together. My desire in this post is to make sure that you have the information that we lacked. You are probably wondering, “What are the 5 steps?” Well before I share them with you, just realize that these 5 steps are absolutely crucial to the success of your marriage. I know because my marriage almost ended because my husband and I failed to practice them in the beginning stages of our marriage. We learned the hard way so that you won’t have to. Just know that if you incorporate these into your marriage starting TODAY, you have no choice but to succeed. Let’s explore these five steps.
5 Steps To Becoming One
1.) Know Who You Are
Ok ok…I know you are probably thinking, “I thought this was about me becoming one with my spouse?” Well before you can merge your lives together as one, you both must first really understand who you are individually. Most people will skip right over this step and think that they already know who they are, but do you really? I’m sure you know your favorite color and that you prefer Italian cuisine over Mexican. But do you know why you exist? Are you comfortable expressing your weaknesses? Are you confident enough to identify your strengths? What are you passionate about in life and what are your personal goals for the future? Being able to communicate these key things will allow you and your spouse to see what and who you really need to be to each other. Where he is weak you are strong. Your areas of struggle may be where he excels. When you don’t take time to truly learn yourself and become comfortable exposing all the good, bad and ugly parts of who you are, you can very easily start to feel like you don’t have an identity in the marriage. This can also be the cause of why many husbands and wives often feel misunderstood and unable to effectively communicate in marriage. Trust me…this happened to me.
2.) Become a Student of Your Spouse
Do you remember when you were ready to get your driver’s license? Remember how exciting that experience was? You told everyone about itand maybe your parents already had a car ready for you to drive. But was that all you did to prepare? Were you able to just walk in the DMV pumped up on all the excitement and anticipation to get the license that was going to change the course of your life forever? Not that easy. You had to STUDY for a TEST that needed to be PASSED in order for you to get your license. We take time to research and study articles, YouTube and even Pinterest for tips and tricks on how to cook, clean, do our hair and become better parents. We shut everyone out when we need to study for a test or prepare for an important presentation on our job. We make sure we are well prepared for the world around us, but don’t do the same for our spouse. You must become a lifelong student of your spouse from the beginning. As you grow and change, which you will do, be willing to remain in a position to learn more about your mate.
3.) Establishing Roles & Responsibilities
Once you and your spouse take the time to learn each other this next step will be pretty easy to implement. You see, there are those who assume that ALL men take out the trash or ALL women cook but this is not the case. We should remember that everyone comes from different backgrounds and family cultures which may not look exactly like what we are used to. Because of this, it is important not to come into a marriage assuming your spouse will automatically do certain things, no matter how small they may be. Establishing roles and expectations you both agree upon either before or soon after you are married is a must if you want to have a happy home. Making assumptions only causes you to make a fool of yourself.
4.) Family Culture
Determine what your household will look like. Of course you both have your own traditions and special occasions that are more important than others. However, once you become one in a marriage, you both are to “leave and cleave” to the other person and develop your own culture, traditions and practices for your home and later for your children. Develop a purpose statement for your home. Decide what will and will not go on in your house and what practices are going to be most important to the foundation and structure of your family. Once you agree on your family’s goals and purpose, put it up in your home as a reminder so you both are able to stay accountable to the vision set in place for your home and your future together. This is especially important to have early in a marriage so that you have a foundation to stay on when outside influences try to divide you and your spouse.
5.) Establish a Support System & Accountability
One thing that I wish my husband and I had in the beginning of our marriage was a solid support system made up of other trusted married couples to be accountable to. Often times in a marriage, people get lazy and too comfortable resulting in them not being fully present in their marriage. When you are intentional about connecting with couples who are positive, optimistic and objective, you can hold each other accountable and consistently have a standard of healthy marriage around you at all times.
Choose to GIVE
Yes this blog post is jammed packed full of information, but in order for any of this to work you must choose everyday to GIVE…which is the definition of LOVE. If you make a conscious effort each day to give of yourself and make the object of your love your spouse and they do the same for you, your life together will be abundant. And remember, becoming one is all about both of you bringing 100% to the table.
Also, I invite you to join our Mastering Marriage 7 Day Email Prayer Challenge by subscribing below. By doing so, you will have access to our email list where you will receive 7 specific prayers for you to pray over your marriage over the next 7 days plus tons of free resources and tools just like this article that can help enhance your marriage.