Marriage is a union of two individuals with different values, idea, likes and dislikes. Apart from physical differences in the built of a man and woman, emotionally men and women are poles apart. Yet God created them male and female and commanded them to be fruitful and dominate the earth together.
The bible said, what God has joined together let no man put asunder, therefore God knows it is very possible and true that a man and woman though very different in physique and emotion, can live together in harmony. However, the reality of most marriages does not easily paint this picture.
It looks as if men and women can no longer achieve harmony especially given the new disposition of equality and more opportunities for women empowerment. It looks as if men and women are now competing in their marriage hence the trouble, travail and crises befalling married couples.
If harmony were impossible, I believe God would not have made male and female. It is therefore important that we first accept and believe that male and female can live together in harmony according to God’s idea and principles He gave as a guidebook for marriage.
To understand what unity and Harmony means, I would like to define it according to the dictionary. Unity means the state of being joined together or in agreement while Harmony is the combination of separate but related parts that uses their similarities to bring unity.
Unity is a place where agreement is reached, and harmony recognises the need to find the similarities between different parts to achieve unity.
This is exactly what a marriage union is all about, a recognition that husbands and wives are different individuals but can together in agreement walk and live together in harmony. Any thriving marriage has successfully achieved harmony, which means the couples have accepted each other’s individuality and found a common ground for unity to live peacefully with each other.
In marriages that have yet to find this gem, there we will find arguments, crisis and chaos. At the root of the most marital crisis is the idea that one party feels superior or inferior to the other party. The couples involved show a total lack of respect for each other’s difference and often, one partner may be trying to make the other conform to their ideology. If the other partner is probably unable to follow, then the resistance, abuse and every form of weapon to subdue and subjugate each other.
How can a couple move from chaos into harmony? The first step is acceptance of individuality. The recognition that we have all been raised in a different environment and a product our of upbringing. Therefore, we cannot decide that one ideology is supreme to the other.
For example, a spouse that was raised in a home where the thought of having the best thing in life is seen as extravagant and show off may find it difficult to accept their spouse. If they have been raised to pursue the best in life, with a mindset that there is nothing impossible if they can work and reach out to get it.
Both ideologies have their advantages and disadvantages. But for one spouse to completely disregard and insist their ideology is the right one, will lead to a lack of understanding and lack of unity and agreement in their marriage. The bible says, how can two people walk together except they agree? (Amos 3:3).
We must begin to look at how the orchestra works with so many various instruments yet achieve harmony. The typical symphony orchestra consists of four groups of related musical instruments called the woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings. Other instruments such as the piano and celesta may sometimes be grouped into a fifth section such as a keyboard section or may stand alone, as may the concert harp and electric and electronic instruments.
The orchestra, depending on the size, contains almost all the standard instruments in each group. Each string instrument has its role, and each is needed, maybe not in every piece. However, variations in string instruments, how they are used and how many are needed are part of making each work unique.
The word that makes an orchestra work is NEEDED. In a marriage where the couple recognises the need for each other and without this need, there is no marriage, often tend to recognise and appreciate each other’s role and significance. Whereas in any marriage where one spouse thinks they can do without the other spouse is not going to value the need to work together to achieve harmony.
A case where the husband thinks he does not need his wife’s comfort and care and that he can survive by himself will result in lack of interest in making sure he curries his wife’s favour. Also, where a wife believes she does not need her husband’s care and support but can go it alone will result in lack of interdependent for support and growth.
Husbands and wives must recognise that each spouse is NEEDED and significant in a thriving marriage. You do not have to think the same way, act the same way or love the same way for unity and harmony to be achieved. It is the recognition that you are different, but both needed, have their roles in the marriage and need each other to achieve harmony and peace.
It is this reliance and a delicate balance of individuality that brings harmony in a marriage.
If you are struggling to achieve harmony and unity in your marriage, I would like to encourage you to check how much significance you placed on your spouse? Do you think you need your spouse to be complete in life or do you think you are ok by yourself?
Do you know God created Eve for Adam and he called her bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh? You are not complete if your bone is not fully joined to you in marriage. Even if you are operating at a capacity you may feel is optimal now, you are not functioning at 100% capacity, there is yet more growth and success you can achieve if you can be joined in harmony with your spouse. God has created husband and wife for each other and to do otherwise is to miss out of God’s original purpose and intent for you in marriage.
There is this saying that behind every successful man is a woman and vice versa, whatever you may think you can achieve by yourself. A single person can achieve great success, however, if you enter a marriage covenant, you will exponentially multiply that success if you and your spouse can achieve unity and work harmoniously.
The danger of being married and walking in disagreement is even greater than when you are single.
If You are married and you continue to walk in disobedience, maltreat your spouse with no harmony or peace in your marriage, you risk being under judgement of God. God’s word is potent and without partiality. If you are a man and you are not seeking harmony and unity in your marriage, God’s word says in Malachi 2:13 -14
13: And this is another thing you do: You cover the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping and groaning, because He no longer regards your offerings or receives them gladly from your hands. 14: Yet you ask, “Why?” It is because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have broken faith, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. God will no longer receive your offering with gladness.
1 Peter 3:7 also states that your prayers may be hindered if you do not live in understanding with your wife. “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honour to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered”.
As a wife, if you do not live in harmony with your husband, you risk being subject to stress as you may have to deal with many issues by yourself. You will have to take on more responsibilities and undue financial burden. Your spiritual life may also be impacted as you may be walking in disobedience. God is not happy with any form of disobedience.
Even though unity and harmony are necessary for a healthy marriage, it can only be achieved with the cooperation of both husband and wife. There are many situations where one spouse may have done all that they can, but the other spouse is unyielding. I will encourage you to be kind to yourself, seek help and support and pray for God to help you with on the journey.
Remember, it all starts with the acceptance of individuality, and a desire to need each other and work to achieve harmony. The devil our adversary is out to kill, to steal, and to destroy but Jesus has come to give life. Never allow the enemy to steal your marriage.
I pray for the peace of God that passes all understanding to fill your hearts and mind and bring harmony to your marriage.
Are you longing for inspiration for your life and marriage? Learning new skills and acquiring knowledge can greatly improve your relationship with your spouse. When you know better, you can do better and make a big difference in your relationship. Subscribe to updates from Abi here!
Abi Apalara loves sharing insightful information that helps couples flourish in life and their marriage relationship. I have enjoyed both good marital pleasures and challenging times in my marriage. I came to realise, the points where I missed it, were areas I lacked information on how to.
Making it up along the way, only meant I was going the wrong way. Desperately seeking to get back into marital bliss, I started exploring and reading about those areas of challenge. I also reached out to counsellors and began to see what I was missing.
After a surprising move into relationship study, I have found peace of mind and happy with my marriage. I have authored the book Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus realty to share my experience and encourage men and women to work on their
marriages, by seeking knowledge and apply it to their marriage relationship.
My latest book, Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus reality focuses on discovering some of the unrealistic expectations we bring into a marriage. It comes with practical advice and a guide on how to get it right before and after getting married. You can also preorder the book here