“The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (John 17:22-23).
Marriage is meant to be so much more than just physical union and the merger of households and finances — and reasons go well beyond happiness and contentment for the couple.
In John 17, Jesus is praying for the unity of all believers, but unity between spouses is critical to a successful marriage, too. And the point of the prayer, the ultimate effect of unity among believers (and between a wife and husband) is “so that the world may know that [God] sent [Jesus] and loved [believers] even as [God] loved [Jesus]” John 17:23. Obviously Jesus wasn’t talking about physical unity, He was asking for spiritual unity among believers.
Spiritual unity isn’t about giving up your identities and individuality. Rather, spiritual unity means that both of you are willing to align your desires and goals with God’s plan for your marriage. You can do that by:
- Praying together.
- Reading Scripture together and talking about it.
- Taking time to listen to God. He might speak to you through a trusted friend, mentor or pastor. Perhaps you’ll feel a certain tug on your heart when you read Scripture together.
Spiritual unity with your spouse can strengthen your relationship and your level of satisfaction with your marriage. But the ultimate reason to work toward unity with your spouse isn’t just because it’s easier to get along with each other when you’re both focused on the Creator but because it shows the world God’s love.
Ask God to unite you and your spouse so that your marriage is strengthened and so your unity is an example to others.
Talk to your spouse
- Ask your spouse how he or she sees your marriage as an example of God’s love.
- Ask your spouse what the two of you can do to align with each other and with God’s will.