The third stage brings us to a place of purity. We’ve figured it out. We've gotten rid of the baggage. Our only goal is to do God’s will in our lives and in our marriage. Every move we make goes through God first.
Not everyone makes it to this stage. It involves a complete surrender of self. There will always be a struggle in fighting our self, but at this stage, you know how to battle against it and rarely face it anymore. (Self is the biggest factor that will keep you from a pure relationship with God and with your spouse. I still see it control many church-going, faith-filled Christians.)
At this stage, you understand what marriage is all about. You’ve become one spiritually. You’ve taken on parts of the good qualities your spouse exemplifies and you’ve joined in the middle, completing the two halves God put together.
For example: when Rick and I first married we did a personality test, and he tested off the charts on the end of dominance. I, on the other hand, scored off the charts on the opposite end of submissiveness. Everything was fine in our marriage until our children came along. By then I faced the difficulties of taking care of two small children, Rick’s long work hours, and our living far away from family and friends. Because of my timidity, I didn’t know how to speak out and let my needs be known to my husband. This was the beginning of our marriage crisis.
Because of that horrible time in our lives, Rick and I have both moved closer to the middle in many of our personality traits. What attracted me to him were many of the qualities that I lacked. Through all these years of marriage, I have learned to be more assertive, how to speak out, and how to be a leader (to name a few), while he has learned to be more sympathetic, more caring, and more aware of the needs of others.
Rick and I have met in the middle where, together, we are much more suited to perform God’s plan for us. Through the troubles we have faced in our marriage and the struggles to meet in the middle, we have learned more about each other and what makes us tick. Only at this point are any of us able to complete the union as God intended for marriage.
Now I’m certainly not saying that my marriage is perfect, by any means. We still have our moments. I still have days (not so often anymore) where the devil tempts me to walk out the door. (He doesn’t want Rick and me to continue in our marriage ministry.) But, I now know how to get myself back on track, almost immediately. (Depending on the state of my hormones it may take a few hours.)
Rick and I share great harmony in our marriage. We have figured out how to deal with the issues. Yes, they still arise, but we battle them head on, as soon as we recognize them. Resentment gets no chance to rear its ugly head when you immediately face the problems. Because of that, our home has become a haven filled with peace. We can't wait to get back to it when we leave it. We look forward to our time together.
Back to the parable of the seeds in Matthew – Matthew 13:8 – “Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
That’s what happens to marriage when you persevere and desire to become as one. You reap an amazing crop!