Excerpt from An online Course: Where God puts two hearts in a home

― “Please come in and close the door, Ben. Mr. Juliano held out his hand and Ben shook it heartily.  So, what is your decision?  I‘m sure it wasn‘t too difficult when you and Precy sat down and considered what an important opportunity this is.

―It is a very generous offer, Mr. Juliano, but I‘m afraid I‘m going to have to turn it down.

―What!? Mr. Juliano‘s face turned red and his eyes narrowed. ―You can‘t be serious!

―I‘m quite serious, sir. Precy and I prayed together last night and thought about the things we know that the Lord is calling us to do: adopting a baby, raising our sons, serving the Lord together. If Precy and the children are not part of the relocation package, I cannot go.

―Don‘t be a fool. You know this job will give you more opportunities for advancement, for a higher salary, and will also let you attend seminary, something you‘ve said you‘ve always wanted. The seminary in Singapore has a weekend plus Monday program, and I‘ve already gotten permission for you to have every Monday off and to work longer hours Tuesday through Friday instead. I stuck my neck out for you, and now you waste my time!

―I‘m sorry, sir, I do appreciate so much your trying to help me, but I just cannot leave my family for so long.

―But it‘s only for three years, and the apartment is shared with other staff, not appropriate for a family. You know dozens of people who have been away from their families for longer than that. It‘s our people‘s tradition to live away to establish a career!  Julie stayed here for five years while I was in Singapore and she was fine. The kids kept her busy enough that she barely noticed I was gone. Can‘t Precy move home with her parents?

―Her parents aren‘t married to her, sir, I am. When we were married, we promised before God to live together until death. I didn‘t see anything in those vows about a waiver for advancing my career or going to seminary.

Mr. Juliano‘s eyes flashed with anger. ―I can see that your wife has too much control over you. You must stand up to her! Even if she doesn‘t like it now, she would forgive you after a while, especially when the bigger paychecks started coming in.

―Precy doesn‘t try to control me, sir, and I know she would forgive me if I went, just like she forgave me when I used to eat, sleep, and breathe this company when I first started working here.  But God says we are a team, and I don‘t want her getting over not having me around.   I‘m sorry, sir.

―I still think you are a fool, Ben. But I have to respect you for having the courage of your convictions.

―Thank you, sir.”

There are many aspects of marriage that helps to maintain unity and intimacy.   However, living together in the same place as much as possible is an important aspect of a thriving marriage relationship.