My wife and I recently decided to go through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. We realized some changes would be very helpful in the way we view and handle our money. We want to do like Dave says, “Live like no one else, so later we can live like no one else.” So, we signed up and joined our small group on a journey to live like no one else.
In Dave’s session about relationships and money, he shared a story about Belgian horses, which illustrated one major key to winning in marriage. It was the second time in a matter of weeks that I’d heard this illustration used in the context of relationships, so I thought it was worthy of researching and writing about.
Belgian horses are able to pull tremendous weights. If a single Belgian horse can pull 800 pounds and you pair it with another Belgian horse, you’d logically think they could pull 1,600 pounds. Nope. Those two horses together can pull up to 2,400 pounds.
It gets better. If you train these two horses to work together, the weight they’re able to pull increases to 3,200 pounds! So, just by working together toward the same goal they’re able to do 50% more. And by training together to reach the same goal they’re able to do 100% more!
Functioning as One
The results of coming together as one are amazing. And these results aren’t for Belgian horses only. You will have similar results when you become one in marriage. One of the most popular Bible verses about marriage is Genesis 2:24,
and they become one flesh.
This is what God calls us to do in marriage. This is His plan for marriage—for your marriage. A man and a woman, two totally different people, are to become so close to each other that it’s like they are functioning as one. God knows what will happen when we do this.
It’s amazing stuff! Like the Belgian horse story, when we truly commit to becoming one we can accomplish more and handle a much larger load.
The story of the Tower of Babel is another interesting illustration of the power of coming together as one. Look what God says can happen when people come together:
If they have begun to do this as one people all having the same language, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. (Genesis 11:6, HCSB)
God knew nothing would be impossible for them when they began to function as one. Although the Tower of Babel story doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending, when we apply the idea of working as one to our marriage, it is encouraging to me—for our finances, for raising our kids, and for all of our dreams and aspirations. I have an unstoppable union with my wife. And you have an unstoppable union with your spouse. This is the key to winning in marriage!
But what does coming together as one actually look like? How can a couple practically come together as one? Here are some simple ways you and your spouse can come together.
- Spend time alone each day. My friend Dustin wrote the book, 15-Minute Marriage Makeover, to encourage couples to come together for 15 minutes (or more) at least once per day.
- Talk and listen to one another. Yes, talk. And listen. Have a two-way conversation. In the Tower of Babel story, they could accomplish so much together because they had the same language. This only happens when we have consistent two-way communication.
- Have lots of sex. I listened to a talk from my buddy, Kevin, about couples using sex as a punishment or reward. Please don’t do this as it’s devastating to your marriage. The first command God gave couples was to be fruitful and multiply. And this is a physical manifestation of coming together as one.
- Hold hands. My love language is physical touch, so anything involving touching my wife I like. When you walk, hold hands. When you sit on the couch hold hands or wrap your arms around each other. When you pray, hold hands.
- “Chore-play.” I can’t take credit for this as a couple at one of our speaking engagements shared this with us. Chore-play is doing chores together. Not assigning duties and going your separate ways, but washing the dishes or clothes together. Doing yard word together.
- Pray together. The couple that prays together, stays together. Not only that, but they communicate better, their spiritual walk is better, and the intimacy improves. I believe every aspect of their lives will improve by coming together consistently in prayer.
- Date nights and getaways. Couples who don’t date regularly are missing so many opportunities to create shared experiences together. I like to say, “Dating led you to being married, and dating will help you stay married.”
- Agree on your financial plan. While we’ve attempted to come together on our financial plan before, it usually ends up falling in my lap as I’m the “numbers” person. But it changes when we come together. Our friends, Brian and Cherie, are a perfect example as they came together to pay off $127,000 in debt!
- Set and work toward goals together. If you have a business partner you can easily see how this works. If you don’t come together on your goals you’ll end up in different places. But when you come together, those results can be substantially greater than doing it alone, and you’ll end up in the same place.
- Work out or do a hobby together. Girls night and time with the fellas is great. But don’t completely neglect doing fun and/or sweaty things together with your spouse. Go ahead and get sweaty and have fun with them!
I could go on and on with a list of ways to come together as one, but I’m sure you can come up with some for you and your spouse. The point is to find as many ways as you can to come together as one.
Decide to function as one, plan and achieve things as one, and watch what happens when you do. Nothing you plan to do will be impossible for you!
[reminder]What do you think will happen when you become one in all areas of your marriage?[/reminder]
photo credit: Two Hearts as One via photopin (license)
Good stuff as always Jackie. If you’re interested, we could talk about you guest-posting on my blog. Take care.
Great advice. My husband and I do a lot of these things. You’re right, we accomplish much more when we work together. However, there are a few hurdles we’re yet to clear. Sometimes, I feel like I have a have the perfect “sales pitch” to get him to try solving a problem the way I think we should. He won’t even entertain it–that is frustrating. Oh well, I am encouraged to keep at it. Thanks for sharing.
Sometimes the trick is help your spuse come up with your idea. Discuss your desired result in a way that appeals to their interest, and ask how they would achieve it. Good, results-focused questions will trump great advice every time. You’re more likely to get what you want (unless what you want is to get credit for the idea…it’s not worth it.)
I understand and will continue to try what you’ve suggested. I’m not interested in credit. Peace and progress are what I desire. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for the reminder, Jackie! My wife, Kristen, and I have a great relationship. In many ways, we feel like we are closer now than ever. We just had a new baby a month ago. She’s amazing and our third child. I appreciated your suggestions because this is a crazy season of life! As much as we enjoy spending time with each other, we have 3 (awesome) children that are pulling us in different directions. I don’t want this season of life to be an excuse to do things “separately together.” We will accomplish so much more as a team. It’s easy to get in the groove of “you do your thing, I do mine.” But that has been exhausting. I need to make it a priority to spend quality time with each other. We have a lot to do, but we can always chore-play! Thanks for the encouragement.