Saturday, February 28, 2015

Shared Lives. Shared Dreams. Shared Goals – Part 2

For over a week, I played a “you can’t catch me” game with the flu bug. It has been a roller coaster ride, feeling great one day and off-colour the next.  It has also been a battle of will to get this blog post completed. I started writing the second part of the Shared Lives post ten days ago. The feedback I got after I posted the first part and the inspiration from further reading on the subject, fired my determination to complete the post today despite the watery eyes, heavy head and sneezing a thousand per minute. I am persuaded that I have the victory over the flu bug.

Unique and Significant:
My marriage is unique and significant in God’s Kingdom agenda. God has a unique purpose for my husband and me to fulfil. So our marriage is not just about us; it is also about the impact God desires for our marriage to make in the world about us. This principle is true for every couple. It is imperative that we keep this notion in the forefront and as a primary vision for our marriages.

Because God has a sovereign and eternal plan for our lives, we know that every detail of our lives are small pieces of the larger picture God has in mind of our lives. Therefore, our marriage is a significant piece of God’s larger picture and eternal plan our lives.

Therefore, we need to understand that each marriage is unique, and God’s plans and purpose for your marriage is unique. This knowledge prevents me from comparing my marriage with another marriage. My husband and I have our unique individual gifts, strengths, skills, talents, calling, weaknesses, and failings, which combined in our shared lives have given our marriage its unique identity—same is true for you and your spouse too.

Shared Vision:
The Bible says that the people perish without a vision. Without a vision, a couple in marriage will have no target to aim for to keep their passion stirring. We need a vision in order to move with intensity towards a goal.

“…I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.” – Philippians 1: 27b.

The scripture above gives us another impetus for the sacredness of our shared lives as a couple and an insight into God’s eternal vision for us. We are called to stand together as a couple with one spirit and one purpose—united in spirit and united in purpose. Then we can fight together for the faith. Unity in the spirit and purpose is essential for a couple to fulfil God’s plans for their marriage. We need to remind ourselves constantly that we are in this together for the long haul—as long as we both shall live.

An understanding of the eternal essence of our shared vision will give each of us in our marriage a different perspective in dealing with the issues we face as we go on the journey of our shared lives. It will also encourage us to stay true to the course no matter how rough the journey may be.

If a couple has different life goals and values, this will result in several opportunities for conflicts as both will be going in different directions. You can’t be united in purpose and focussed on the same vision or goal if you have divergent values and you are unwilling to change. Hence, it is important at the onset of a relationship, during the discovery stage, to focus on knowing the values you both hold to strongly.

Ask a thousand questions when you are courting. That is your fact-finding season.

Enhancing Oneness:                                                        
In order for each couple to fulfil their unique purpose, they need to grow together as one and be united in purpose.

Sharing lives together is therefore much more than sharing space. It is not enough to be together in the same room; it is important that you give focussed attention to each other. If you are focussing on other things when you are together or when your spouse is talking to you, then you are not giving quality attention to your spouse. It is only when we pay attention to one another that we can find out what is uppermost in the mind of our spouse. You can’t assume that you know your spouse so well that you don’t need to ask them what they want, what they need and what their opinion is. This will amount to taking your spouse for granted. Your spouse’s opinion matters.

Also, the time spent together in a common pursuit enhances your intimacy and oneness. It also communicates that you care about each other’s interests, and you enjoy being with each other.

Communication is vital in a marriage.
Learning effective communication skills can be a marriage saver.

It is also important to be supportive of each other's dreams. But you can only support what you know about. So if you are not sharing your dreams with your spouse, you are limiting the opportunities and your spouse’s ability to support you.

Your shared dreams as a couple have to be strong and vital. It must engage both of you to get you stirred up and motivated. Dreaming together as a couple and planning towards attaining your dreams together is powerful in making your marriage strong and deepen your intimacy. Thus enhancing your oneness.

Since God did not give you or your spouse psychic abilities to read each other’s mind, talking to each other and listening to one another is vital is essential for your shared lives to thrive and remain vibrant. It should be in a language that is clearly understood and without ambiguity.

Be Kind To Each Other:
Are you as kind to your spouse as you are with others outside your marriage? Are showing the same grace to your spouse as you extend to others?

There are many who are very tolerant and accommodating of the shortcomings of those outside their marriage who do not extend the same mercy to their spouses. As noted in the blog post last week, the main purpose of marriage is that through your marriage, you become more conformed to the image of God by showing unconditional love, mercy and grace. It is in marriage you learn to pour yourself lavishly on someone who doesn't deserve it or respond appropriately.

I am a strong believer that a couple should be each other’s best friend, acting in the best interest of each other and giving their best to each other. After all, you are sharing lives together with each other in a way you can’t share with another person, and you are bound together by a covenant. Your marriage is a covenant relationship. This also means that right from the onset, the relationship is founded on a solid friendship.

“Your marriage is a living example of what it is like to be in close relationship with you.”
Micheal Hyatt – How To Be Your Spouse’s Best Friend

The following are some of the elements of a strong marriage founded on shared lives;

1. Staying strong and vibrant is important to both of you—a shared goal and dream.
2. You are both willing to work together to stay strong.
3. Being focussed and unified in purpose.

The pursuit of shared goals will promote unity in the marriage and align efforts so that the couple are working together in the same direction. Lack of unity results in decreased marital satisfaction, increased stress and a waste of time, energy and resources. Unity is achieved when you align your values, vision, goals and plans.

Working together to achieve your shared dreams and shared goals requires vital and frequent consultations during which you learn and understand each other's strength, weaknesses and preferences. This information can be used for the mutual benefit of the relationship to avoid conflicts.

When you understand who does what best in your relationship, then you can allow each other to focus on what you do best. You learn to use your differences to complement each other as a thriving team.

Marriage is a test of perseverance:
Good marriages are marked with several milestones of perseverance. God wants us to keep pressing forward in our marriage together, overcoming challenges, obstacles and difficulties as we share lives as one. It is in persevering that we have victory that brings glory to God in our marriages.

Let us not become weary in doing good,  for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. – Galatian 6:9

It is by pressing on that we attain God’s best for our marriage. There will be times when you will feel like you are pressing on for deeper intimacy and oneness in your marriage alone. Don’t be weary and don’t give up. Be assured that God is working on your spouse just as much as He is working on you. 

So you just do your part in absolute reliance on God. He has a stake in the success of your marriage because He designed your marriage to succeed.

I pray that you and your spouse will press forward together in your shared lives with determination until you attain God’s eternal purpose for your marriage. Grace to you.


  1. I had been hounding this blog for a few weeks now, waiting for a new blog post. For some funny reason, It kept showing the last post from December!!!. Anyways I have remedied that by connecting with this blog using the google connect ( I hope that works better ) to show new posts when updated.
    So many good points here. God has a purpose for marriage and it has nothing to do with the age old belief of "have as many children as possible and fill the earth".
    God set up marriage so that through the family, husband and wife could work together to establish the kingdom of heaven on earth.
    I agree with you that having a shared goal (or goals) with my spouse for our marriage not only draws us closer together but gives our marriage purpose.
    On communication, I love the part where you said people can't read minds. Lol.
    It is very important we never assume the other person should know what is going on inside our minds, effective communication is key.
    Lastly, not taking our spouses for granted is very important especially since we are now privy to the good and not so good parts of our spouses . We forget that we also have shortcomings our spouses have probably chosen to overlook.
    Thanks for this post and I hope you are feeling better now.
    Hugs and Kisses.

  2. Dear Thecla, thank you very much for your visit and comments. I am sorry to note you had problems accessing current messages on the blog. I post a blog once a week except I am constrained. I hope have a better access now. I'm feeling better now. The power of God to heal is at work in me.

    Yes we often forget that we have two imperfect people in a relationship and tend to notice and magnify the other person's failings and shortcomings. But as we approach our relationship with an open, willing and humble heart, God gives us the grace to accept the changes He wants to make first in us so that we can become better persons in our relationships.
    Thanks for stopping by. God bless you richly.


Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts and comments. I appreciate you. God bless you.