Thursday, September 6, 2007

One Flesh

"The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together." Robert C. Dodd

In the beginning, God gave us a blueprint for marriage. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Gen. 2:24

What does that mean? Well, obviously, it means that through the physical union, the two become one, but does it have further implications? I believe it does. The husband and wife should be one physically, emotionally, spiritually, and purposefully.

Completely ~ in every way, a man and wife should be one.

  • Physically ~ There is something spiritual in the physical union of a man and a woman, this is one reason why God created us for one life-long partner. When we come together, something that we can't quite understand happens and we become "one". This is something that is wonderful, mysterious, and precious. We must protect it. We should come to our marriages pure (although I realize many of us have not), and once married, we need to protect that oneness as well. Some things that could damage that oneness would be pornography, impure thoughts about someone other than your spouse, or an affair. We must do what we can to protect our one flesh with our beloved. Create a "buffer" of sorts. One thing that woman can actively do is make an effort to be attractive to our husband. If you know he prefers a certain style of clothing or a particular color ~ wear it! If you know he likes your hair a certain way, do that. Be available to him, and even take the initiative. Communicate to him that he is attractive to you, and that you desire him. Make sure he knows that you believe him to be the one and only man for you.
  • Emotionally ~ This can be a little trickier to define, but it would I think, include your feelings of love and friendship, which we've talked about before. If you are nit-picking at each other and always finding fault, you're probably not one emotionally. Being one in this way is going to look like two friends who really love each other. I'm going to think well of my Beloved, I'm going to see the positives in him, and I'm going to be an encourager, a cheerleader for him. If I am one emotionally with my husband, then it could be said of me, as of the Proverbs 31 woman, "The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain." Prov. 31:11 So then, we could easily conclude that a oneness emotionally, will be shown through actions.
  • Spiritually ~ "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?" 2 Cor. 6:14 Believers should not be married to unbelievers. It is not possible to be one spiritually, if you are heading in two different directions. Let me say, that I know there are times when it is unavoidable. I have known women who were not believers when they married, but were saved after marriage. Scripturally, unless their husband will not continue to live with them, they are to remain married. However, the aspect of believer/non-believer makes their marriage more difficult; and yet, within God's plan. A Christian should not purposefully seek out a non-believer for marriage though. I would even argue that (if you believe in dating), a Christian should not even date an unbeliever ~ just because the likelihood of becoming emotionally attached and married is too high. If you are one spiritually, you will both be headed in the same eternal direction, and in the same theological direction. If a wife finds herself in theological disagreement with her husband, she needs to submit to his leadership. If she really believed that he was scripturally wrong, then she could discuss it with him, but her most powerful option would be to commit it to prayer, and ask God to change his heart ~ if he is truly wrong; all the while being open to God showing her she may be the one in error.
  • Purposefully ~ Lastly, I believe that the "one flesh" mandate covers purpose as well. How often have you seen a marriage, where a husband was committed to one purpose, and his wife was committed to another? How cohesive did that marriage appear to be? We even see this where a wife has a career. She is not necessarily committed to her husband and his vision, she has her own agenda for her life, and it often isn't being her husband's helpmeet. But, even a wife committed to being at home isn't immune to having her own agenda and purpose, separate from her husband. If my husband is committed to opening his home to hospitality and showing Christ's love in this way, then that should be my purpose as well. However, as a homeschooling mama, that might take over as my purpose and I could easily push aside whatever my Beloved wants because I'm busy schooling the children. While obviously, homeschooling our children is of utmost importance, it would be my responsibility to make sure I'm getting that done, but not at the detriment of my Beloved's vision. How much more fulfilling to incorporate the Biblical mandate of hospitality into our homeschooling rather than ignoring it.

As wives we have a tremendous amount of power in our marriages. We cannot control our husbands or make them act a certain way, but when we walk in obedience to the Word of God, there is a high probability that God will honor that and our marriages will change for the better. May God bless you as you seek to be one in every way with your beloved.

1 comment:

myirishtwins said...

Tracy,

I love your blog. I learn so much, and am reminded to be the wife that God wants me to be! Thanks for doing this.

Amber