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Teamwork in Marriage: One Heart and Mind is part 4 of 5 from the How to Get Married Right! series getting couples ready for marriage. Marriage is team work. The husband and wife are not only to enjoy getting married but also being married! Many know this but get frustrated by wrong perspectives on how marriage should work out.
We all read about Adam and Eve being one, but rarely is it fulfilled in the lives of the average married couple.
In order to have one mind and heart, it is not only important for a husband to lovingly lead his wife according to God's Word, and the wife to faithfully submit to him, but also for them both to have the same mindset. There are two dangerous tendencies that must be avoided in marriage.
In some cultures, one might not think the wife needs to know much about what the husband is thinking. The husband is the dominant leader and the wife is expected and trained to obey. While this is not the modern Western model, it is for many cultures.
The problem is not the husband carrying out his leadership position or the wife submitting to the husband. That is true. But if we stop here, we miss out on the most beautiful interlocking of souls that is possible.
The Lord wants the wife to be a husband's helpmate. We do not see this only meaning that the wife takes cares of all the laundry and meals. In Genesis 2 we see them share life together.
God has made woman differently; she is finely tuned to circumstances and people's feelings. God made her to help 'her' man excel as well as to care for children. If a woman is to make a true contribution to life, then she needs to know what is going on.
The husband needs to cultivate such a talking relationship where she understands what he is wrestling with, and so that he understands her and can listen to her insights. So often husbands do not believe that wives have anything to contribute. With this mindset, he will not share with her. God made it so that man cannot excel without his wife's wisdom.
If the husband really loves her, then he will open his soul to her. The wife will respond wonderfully to this. In the end, the wife still must trust her husband to make the final decision, but at least she knows he has heard and values her opinion.
In other cultures such as our modern Western culture, women are trained to be independent and rebellious to authority.
They are taught to assert themselves rather than to be gentle and quiet-spirited. Couples like this end up being so far from being of one mind and heart. They might live together, but they work and live their own lives. Some don't even live together!
The couple needs to get back to biblical living where a couple is not one in name only but also in practical ways. Communication is important because it is here that a couple needs to come to common understanding.
The only easy way to do this is to have a common perspective.
Our goal is that the couple regularly make godly decisions. They have come to agree what God wants and encourages each other to do what God wants. I (Paul) have found that when my faith is strong, it helps her. But when my faith is quivering, my wife's faith is strong and vibrant.
I remember not a few time when we were very tight on money. My wife would always make out the check to the church first. I felt I would probably wait a bit. But her confidence brought her to write the check, something we both agreed we should do. (We have discussed how to do this in another article).
Making biblical decisions is the goal but a extra bonus is the uniting of the hearts and minds of the husband and wife. We want to see them both love things that God loves. If this is true, then the decision become much easier.