A Merging Purpose: When the purpose of a thing is unknown, abuse, neglect and abandonment are inevitable. When we don’t discover God’s purpose for our lives, it will be tougher to discover and fulfill God’s purpose for our marriages. You can’t get to the next rung on a ladder if you bypass the previous one. You run the risk of having a tragic fall.

Many couples who get married before they discover ‘Who they are, why they are here and where they are going to’ often get lost in the journey of life and find out too late that they had missed the way. We can’t afford to jump aboard just any train heading to nowhere and waste our lives on journeys God never approved.

A lot of spouses look forward to only a lavish wedding celebration, a romantic honeymoon, popping out babies and paying their bills. After waking up for many months and years with nothing else to look forward to, they begin to get irritated at each another and then the marriage begins to go on a downward spiral.

Couples who have so much to do together have no time to get involved in little distractions and issues, there is a higher purpose to pursue and they won’t allow anything discourage, distract or derail their marriage. On the other hand, ‘idle’ couples will have an endless list of issues to sort out.

It’s so vital to hear from God about His purpose for your life and what assignment He’s entrusting to you as a couple so you don’t get stuck with someone who will neglect and abuse you or who would require a lot of explaining and convincing to lay hold of all God’s got in store for your marriage.

A merging purpose is indicative of two separate entities agreeing to become one, the two becoming one. As this process happens, one spouse doesn’t disappear and becomes invisible or irrelevant but both of them are chipping away at parts of themselves that are not required in the process of fusion.

Many people get married and don’t expect that staying married will require team work and that will involve a bit of compromise, negotiation and giving up some or all of their selfish ambitions. If they don’t work as a team, nothing can be and will be achieved and there are so many marriages crumbling because one spouse insists that the marriage would be on their terms.

It must grieve God’s heart to watch some couples stall or abandon His plans because they will not pursue a merging purpose.

Genuine Friendship: I think children are great examples of what a friend should be compared to adults. Children have no rules, everyone is welcome, and the only qualification required is the ability to play. They may get into a squabble this minute but the next minute, they are building sandcastles together. There are no rewards or hidden motives, children just want friends who are available to play.

Unlike children, adults have a motive for their friendships. So, when boy meets girl, the first thing on their mind is a wedding and the process of friendship is truncated or fast tracked. Many months after the wedding, the couple wakes up and discover that their spouse was never a friend.

Friends play a lot, they have no secrets, they can’t wait to be with each other, they plan together, they laugh and cry together. Friends don’t compete with each other, they are looking out for the best for each other, they are not interested in who’s more important or intelligent, they just want to be together

But when you get married to someone who is not your best friend, the concept of playing together will be very absurd let alone finding time to play. If you get stuck with someone who is not your best friend, your smile and giggles will gradually disappear as you seethe in bitterness and anger.

When couples struggle with leadership and submission, it’s obvious that someone wants to control the other and the other is resisting every form of control. If you get married to someone whose company you enjoy, you can’t wait to spend quality time with them and times apart will be a sore distress.

Sadly, many married couples rarely enjoy a belly laugh, it’s so serious as they walk on eggshells around each other. But when couples don’t stay in touch all day but stay as late as possible at work and get home just in time to fall into bed, it’s a warning sign that they were never best friends.

When date nights are no longer planned and there is no time to look into each other’s eyes or enjoy a warm cuddle, when sex has to be scheduled and marriage have lost the chase of an adventure, these are signs revealing the cracks in your friendship.

When couples have secrets and live as individuals and no longer as a team, when there is nothing exciting to plan to do, what future are they dreaming about together? We shouldn’t be surprised when couples file for a divorce citing irreconcilable differences, they had never been reconciled one to another.

Friends keep the peace at all cost, they will be worse off without the other. Friends are not proud, there’s no reason for that. Apologizing and admitting to be in the wrong isn’t tough for real friends but when a spouse refuses to take responsibility for the mess they’ve cause, the dynamics of relationship doesn’t stay the same way.

Just because you have strong emotional and sexual feelings for someone doesn’t automatically make them your friend. And many couples who have relied on their ever-changing and unstable hormones assumed these were the proof of their friendship.

Friends are honest and vulnerable with one another, there are no secrets, there is no one to impress, everything is up for discussion, you don’t have to pretend to be someone else when you’re with your best friend, you can honestly criticize and give them constructive feedback they’ll gladly take on.

When couples are not comfortable in their own space or pretend like all is well when it’s not, when spouses are afraid or ashamed to discuss certain things or your voice isn’t heard and your opinions are not valued, it’s obvious these people were never best friends.

The Power Of Agreement: ‘Agreement’ is a very important word used mostly by contract lawyers, but it shouldn’t be something we are unable to grasp. To have an agreement with someone is to have an understanding of something that has to be done and commit to keeping your end of the bargain whatever the cost.

To have an agreement isn’t always an easy process. With our egos, selfish ambitions, fears and preferences, two people from two different backgrounds with two different expectations will not have an easy and quick fix to all the issues that needs to be sorted.

Before an agreement is reached, there will be series of discussions, there must be an understanding of what the goal is and all the issues, there would be some compromise where both partners submit and surrender aspects of whatever they think is important so the ultimate goal can be birthed.

We can’t avoid conflicts as we aim for an agreement, some tempers may be flared, letting go of something you really cherish will be hard, adapting to something new will take time. So while the discussions go back and forth, both spouse must stay focused on the goal and not attack their partner for what has or not happened.

Many of the great inventions and achievements around the world have been completed by a united team. Even individuals who are praised for their great effort can confirm that they had a team in the background who worked together.

Jesus said, ‘If two of you shall agree …’. This promise was not given to just His disciples or restricted to the confines of ministry but can be extrapolated to married couples. When couples don’t agree, the enemy can easily swoop on these marriages to ‘steal, kill and destroy’.

The power of agreement begins on our knees. If couples will not agree to pray together about a common goal, nothing else can be achieved. Could this be why many prayers are not answered because spouses are not in agreement? Our world desperately needs honest couples fighting for their marriages than pious pretenders whose marriages are crumbling.

Our lack of agreement is evident in the way we discipline our kids, how we spend our money, how we navigate a crisis, defining the rules and roles in our home, just to name a few. If a spouse is not in agreement about something their spouse wants to do, they will not pray for them and then we blame God when really our disagreement is getting in the way.

Even when couples file for a divorce, it’s usually one spouse who initiates the process and the other spouse is out of options with what to do and is forced to sign on the dotted lines. And even getting to agree on the details for custody, splitting up joint assets and investments, couples need to hire lawyers to negotiate these on their behalf because couples are unable to come to an agreement.

Looking for a great marriage? Then, let’s go back to the basics and build on the right foundation. The enemy must be frightened and will surely stay away from marriages where these four factors are present as it will be a tough fight if he came against them. Will your marriage be an easy fight or a tough one for the enemy?

Do yourself a favor and spare yourself the heartache and depression, don’t get married to someone who doesn’t fear God and who hasn’t discovered God’s purpose for their lives. Don’t get caught and stuck with someone whose company you don’t enjoy and who will be adamant and headstrong and will make agreements impossible or impractical in your relationship.

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