By Michelle Barringer
How can you be united in thought and purpose with your husband? I’ve discovered how to do this, and I want to encourage you today.
Our Story: United in Thought and Purpose
Two years ago, my husband and I entered the empty nest season. After raising three children and being married over 30 years, our home looked disheveled and worn out. The condition of our home revealed it needed attention, much like our marriage.
While we looked forward to less responsibility for others, we weren’t quite sure how to move forward together, alone, just the two of us. Now what do we do? This transition in life unsettled us.
We knew we needed a strategy, so we decided to use Marie Kondo’s method to help us declutter our home. I loved her “spark joy” concept as a foundation for choosing what to keep, which in turn also helps decide what to get rid of.
The KonMari Method has six basic rules for tidying up, and we followed them. But two of her basic rules really helped us unite with the same mind and the same purpose. Rule number six requires asking the “spark joy” question.
Her second rule imparted we needed to decide together what kind of home we wanted to live in. What kind of vibe did we want to experience ourselves? What did we want others to feel when they entered our home?
Together, my husband and I decided we wanted a lifestyle of peace and joy. That’s the kind of home we wanted to live in. We wanted others to experience this too.
United and Restored
In 1 Corinthians 1:10, Paul urges fellow Christians to agree and be united in thought and purpose. He wrote, “Now I encourage you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Agree with each other and don’t be divided into rival groups. Instead, be restored with the same mind and the same purpose.” (NIV)
We never would have guessed decluttering our home together would help restore not just our home, but also much peace and joy in our marriage.
When we decided together that our purpose was peace and joy, everything we did filtered through these two fruits of the Spirit. When we chose to get rid of something, it was because it no longer brought peace or joy to us.
Working together like this with the same mind and same purpose began restoring our home and us. We actually enjoyed the decluttering process. We shared our united “spark joy and peace” journey with others.
Our children were shocked we made so much progress so fast. One Friday night our new-son-in-law joined in on the action and helped tear down an old playhouse in the yard. It looked like a tornado hit our yard, but joy was had by all.
One year ago, we were privileged to receive an inheritance. We decided together to remodel our kitchen, build a new deck, and buy some new flooring. Every item we purchased we asked, “Does this spark joy? Will this produce peace?” If we both answered yes, we knew we had our decision.
United with Peace and Joy
One of the biggest blessings we received is the joy of being united in thought and purpose. After so many years of struggling in marriage (even on the brink of divorce), we were experiencing more peace and joy. We discovered choosing to agree on a united purpose wasn’t just restoring our house, it also was restoring our relationship in new ways.
In 2020, our adult children were living with us again. Recently, they moved into their own home. Once again, my husband and I have decided to unite and continue our decluttering and restoration with the same purpose and same mind. We want peace and joy.
As we move forward together finishing what we started two years ago, we look forward to what we will build together. We’ve decided every decision needs to be filtered through these two questions: Does this spark joy? Does this provide peace?
Wife Step: With your spouse, ask the clarifying question: Does this spark joy or produce peace? If both of you answer yes, you are united in thought and purpose.
Michelle Barringer is a writer, speaker, blogger, Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, and a full-time learning and development consultant. Michelle is currently writing her first book in the wee hours of the morning. She is NOT a morning person.
You can join Michelle on social media @michellerbarringer on Instagram and Facebook and her website www.michellebarringer.com where she writes about faith, purpose, and perseverance sharing true stories and biblical insight.
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