When two people enter into a relationship with each other, something starts to happen. Things begin to change, shift, and transform. In a way, you start “rubbing off on each other”, and rightly so, because healthy relationships are always built on the concept of give and take. A little of you, in exchange for a little of them.
There was an article going around about how Facebook can know if you’re going to break up, before you do! The metric they used to figure this out is called dispersion, and it essentially measures the amount of friends you don’t have in common. The study came to the basic conclusion that the more social connections you have, the better your odds at staying together.
Going along with that concept, one thing I’ve observed about the happiest couples that I know is that they live a life of sharing. Shared hobbies, shared beliefs, shared interests. Shared family, shared friends, shared lives. In fact, I’ve often heard from people that it seems like the longer you are married, the more you truly start acting alike (and some even say- looking alike!). There is something really special about the concept of oneness.
The sign of life in a relationship is the beautiful exchange that happens when two people choose to each put the other above themselves.
But as beautiful as this concept is, “oneness” doesn’t just happen. In fact, I have found that in the reality of marriage, everything in us wants to preserve the self as long as we possibly can. It’s hard to let go of our rights, wants, and needs in exchange for the other’s.
The sign of life in a relationship is the beautiful exchange that happens when two people choose to each put the other above themselves. Choosing to join one another in this thing called life. Choosing to share with one another though they may have chosen other things standing alone. Choosing to give, and even more challenging at times, to allow themselves to receive.
In one of my favorite books, A Severe Mercy, Sheldon describes the oneness that was experienced by him and his wife as a direct result of that which they shared. They described their sharing as the strands that tied them together, and held them close.
‘What is it that draws two people into closeness and love? Of course there’s the mystery of physical attraction, but beyond that it’s the things they share. We both love strawberries and ships and collies and poems and all beauty, and all those things bind us together. Those sharings just happened to be; but what we must do now is share everything. Everything!
If one of us likes anything, there must be something to like in it – and the other one must find it. Every single thing that either of us likes. That way we shall create a thousand strands, great and small, that will link us together. Then we shall be so close that it would be impossible – unthinkable – for either of us to suppose that we could ever recreate such closeness with anyone else. And our trust in each other will not only be based on love and loyalty but on the fact of a thousand sharings – a thousand strands twisted into something unbreakable.’
As important as it is to share the tangible, there is something even more meaningful. This is the sharing that comes when two hearts, and two spirits connect as one. The sharing of faith, grace and forgiveness. The sharing of hopes and dreams. And most importantly, the sharing of knowledge and affection toward a God who holds all of those strings together – in this beautiful thing we call love.
Consider the importance of a shared life, and marry someone with whom you can share every aspect of your mind, body, spirit, and soul.
I’m challenged to write this post, because I have heard from so many men and women who are getting really weary in waiting for love. With each passing day, the waiting gets harder. And sometimes, it’s easy to believe the lies that say that this is as good as it gets, and to settle for less than best. If you’re heart is truly in love with Jesus, then “spirituality and good deeds” are not enough when it comes to finding someone to share your life with. Because the greatest bond that you could ever share with someone is a shared experience of your relationship with Jesus. The presence of Jesus in a relationship is the strand that truly holds all things together, but more so, it’s the source that enables you to love unconditionally.
Consider the importance of a shared life, and marry someone with whom you can share every aspect of your mind, body, spirit, and soul. Because the greatest thing two people can share with one another, is Jesus.
This blog post originally appeared on True Love Dates and was republished with permission.
Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor, speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life. You may also recognize her voice from over 150 articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
For a great example of a strong marriage, watch our new film featuring HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” Chip and Joanna Gaines: