The most powerful word in marriage is not “love”. It isn’t even “sorry”.
No, the single most powerful word in marriage is: “OK”.
The word “OK” originated in 1839 as an American abbreviation of oll korrect, a joke misspelling of all correct. It signifies something as being acceptable, and is generally used as a term of approval, assent and agreement.
I used to say “OK” a lot when TJ and I were dating and in the first year or two after we got married. “You wanna go here and do this on the weekend? Sure, OK”; “You’re busy right now? OK, I can do that, no worries”.
Then the easy and ready reply gradually got replaced by “Mm..how about”s, “I don’t know…”s, “Can’t you see”s and flat-out “I don’t want to”s as I unknowingly began taking my accommodating spouse for granted.
“OK” is the most powerful word in marriage because it represents agreement between husband and wife. Agreement means unity, which enables things to move forward.
Consider what answering “OK” does to questions like:
“Shall we talk about this (e.g. spending more time at home rather than at work, the latest surprise big purchase)?”
“Shall we go ahead with that (e.g. taking time off to go on a family holiday, executing that decision we’ve been discussing)?”
“Will you forgive me?”
“Shall we have kids?”
“Can you help me with this?”
The simple two-letter answer not only propels things forward, it also denotes a sense of togetherness, an undertone of “I’m with you on this”.
Jesus said, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19).
This power of agreement is never greater than when exercised in marriage. God shows us this through truths hidden in His Word, secrets that can be uncovered from the very words themselves.
The original text of the Bible is written in Hebrew and Greek – Hebrew for the Old Testament, Greek for the New Testament.
The Hebrew word for “bride” is “kallah” (reading from right to left, as Hebrew is written):
And the Hebrew word for “groom” is “chatan” (again reading from right to left):
Combining the first letter “kaph” (pronouced kaf) for the bride and the first letter “chet” (pronouced het) for the groom gives the Hebrew word “koach” (pronounced ko-akh), which means power:
When a husband and wife agree, God promises that there is power indeed. His Word confirms and guarantees it.*
What kind of power are we talking about here? Let’s take a look at a promise of God:
“And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the power [Hebrew “koach”] to get wealth [Hebrew “chayil”], that He may establish the covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)
The Hebrew word for “wealth” here, “chayil“, means so much more than just monetary wealth. In fact, it’s primary meaning is strength, ability, and efficiency, and it is used numerous times in the Bible to denote a mighty force or army.
When a husband and wife are united in agreement, their strength, ability and efficiency as a unit is unparalleled. They may well become successful and prosperous, but it’s their unity that immediately establishes them as a mighty force to be reckoned with.
This is never more so than in the case of a Christian couple, because the promises of God hold true for them.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that this is exactly what the devil, the enemy of our souls, comes against most strongly and repeatedly. If he can get conflict and dissension to creep into our marriages, the power to effectively work amazing things in our lives and the lives of people around us becomes undone.
It often begins insidiously and unremarkably with differences in everyday decisions like what to eat, how to drive, where things are placed etc, before seeming to become increasingly apparent in everything ranging from how to handle that parenting situation to how to communicate and respond in every conversation.
Before long, you find yourselves engaged in regular full-blown fights tearing down each other’s thought and decision-making processes, personal beliefs and value, finally coming to the conclusion that you both have almost nothing in common and being bitterly bewildered at why and how you got together in the first place.
Of course, not every marital crisis and break-up happens like this; but many sadly follow this course. And the ultimate winner is none other than he who does not want you to succeed.
If your marriage happened to go south and past the point of reconciliation, there’s no need to feel ashamed or lesser than others. With Jesus, there is no situation that is impossible or dead or unable to be restored.
Simply by receiving Him and His promise of much greater restoration that He purchased for you at the cross, you can be sure that that will not be the end of your situation. It may not be with the same person, and in the process you may change too, but it will surely be for the better, and to your good – He guarantees it. It’s received by grace, through faith – not that you deserved it, but it’ll be yours when you simply believe.
For us who are married, it doesn’t mean losing our identity or voice for the sake of agreeing. Marriage is made up of two unique and complete individuals coming together as one, not two incomplete halves struggling to work as a combined whole, as is frequently depicted.
There will certainly be different views and preferences and methods in getting things done, because you are two different individuals.
It’s not about getting the other person to think and act like you – it’s just seeking to agree as a unit, and learning to say “OK” (as opposed to “no”) to each other more.
In most cases this is actually quite doable, because honestly, most of the time it’s just not that big a deal.
I know messing with the baby’s routine – and sometimes, even how we like things to be done – can seem like the most inexcusable crime ever, but really, your collective peace and unity is more important than dragging out petty fights.
Unless it’s something that’s illegal, immoral or mortally dangerous, there’s no reason why we can’t consider incorporating a simple and sincere “OK” into our response.
So can I just encourage you (as I am doing to myself) to stop quibbling over how things should be done and what should have been said, and to start hitting the “pause” button on whatever you were about to say, listening closer, and trying out an “OK”?
And if you need help and wisdom (as I know I will) in being able to do this, just ask Jesus, who supplies liberally without question or rebuke.
Because when we encounter Jesus, we encounter grace.
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*This revelation hidden in the Hebrew letters and many more on marriage, as well as other areas such as grace, provision, health, and prosperity are contained in the 5-DVD series by Ps Joseph Prince “Secrets in the Hebrew Letters”:
Did you know that there are pictures of Jesus hidden in the Hebrew alphabet and in certain Hebrew words? And that they all point to His perfect work on the cross? There is no insignificant detail in the Bible, so get these five revelation-packed messages and watch as Joseph Prince uncovers the rich significance and meaning of the Hebrew language by interpreting certain words from the Bible. Through this message series, you will see how an understanding of these words can lead to the breakthroughs you need in life, such as a blessed marriage, divine prosperity and health. You will definitely be blessed!