The word “beautiful” is defined in Merriam Webster’s dictionary as “generally pleasing: excellent.” When something is pleasing it brings pleasure, is agreeable, gratifying and also described in Webster’s dictionary as blessed.
We all want a blessed marriage, one that is agreeable, gratifying, pleasing, excellent, and yes, beautiful. But how does one attain all this in a relationship that is oftentimes stressed by the pressures of daily living, unrealistic expectations and differing viewpoints. Let’s take a look at what King David wrote in Psalms 133 when he describes unity as “beautiful” in the Message Bible and “pleasant” in the King James Bible.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore” (Psalm 133:1-3 KJV).
This is a very short Psalm, but it packs power in a few words. As believers in Christ, we have the right to ask the Lord to bless our marriages, because of the promises He paid for through His shed blood on the cross. But, what about a blessing that is commanded by God and one that we don’t even have to ask for? That’s a supernatural endowment of prosperity and life upon your marriage straight from Heaven, and with a condition… the practice of unity.
Guarding peace and unity is one of those attributes that my husband, Jack, and I have garnered from the Word of God, from mentors in our lives, and through our extensive training in formal marriage courses. We know from experience that if we don’t guard our unity, strife will surely spin out of control and cause tremendous heartache in our relationship.
The following are certain disciplines which we practice regularly that produce a harvest of unity. Consider incorporating one of these into your marriage life and see how it begins to change your relationship and produce good fruit:
- Communication: Communicate regularly about daily activities, but most importantly about how each of you are doing in your daily lives. Don’t consider it a chore, but rather an enjoyable moment with your best friend. Regular communication in this fashion strengthens the bond of friendship that you have with your spouse.
- Pray together: Pray together for wisdom and to seek His answers because at the end of the day, His way is the only way. James 3:17 (The Message) states, “Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others (*even our spouses). It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.”
- Repent quickly: Repent to each other and to the Lord when you enter into strife. Strife breaks the unity you work to create and the only way to remedy that is to repent, which means change the course. He is the compass that directs us back to the peaceful path.
- No withholding: Do not withhold yourselves from each other in offense. It’s so easy to build a brick wall and fold our arms in offense. This leads to frustration in a relationship and rapid division. The one offended eventually develops a hardened heart and the one trying to break down the brick wall eventually becomes disheartened with the process, especially if this behavior is habitual.
- Forgiveness: Forgive each other quickly when hurt or offended. An atmosphere of humility and grace fosters forgiveness which culminates in unity and peace. I read a clip on a friend’s facebook page that said: “Home is the one place in the entire world where hearts are sure of each other.” Oh I just love that! Being sure of your spouse’s heart brings an ease into your relationship and an eagerness to be together. Proverbs 31:11-12 in The Message Bible says, “Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.”
As you master one of these disciplines, move onto the next and see how integrating these simple principles will bring unity and joy to your marriage. Unity is a small word and Psalm 133 is a short Psalm, but both hold an ancient secret that yields a large harvest of pleasure and excellence in your marriage. Simply beautiful!