Monday, November 8, 2010

What Does "One Flesh" Mean?

"Just because I'm an eye doesn't mean I can't walk the way a foot does!"

"As the heart, I always have to be behind the scenes, just pumping blood, instead of out in the open doing something important like the mouth or the ear!"

"I can't stand how the nose never picks up around always has to be us--the hands!" 

"I am my own knee! I don't have to bend just because the brain tells me to!"

Sounds a bit ridiculous, doesn't it? Does it also sound vaguely familiar? We Christians glibly proclaim that marriage is to be two becoming one flesh. But when it comes down to "fleshing it out" in real life (forgive the pun), our actions don't always support those words.

 As ridiculous as the above statements made by body parts are, they are often spoken in the context of a marriage which is supposed to function, according to God's Word, as one body functions.

This is not the same as the popular idea of "soul mate". Our souls and our eternal destiny are uniquely our own. My husband cannot save me. I cannot determine where he will spend eternity. The term "soul mate" gives us a romantic ideal without giving us the reality of a Godly marriage and the commitment needed to make it work.We don't just find our "perfect fit" and "live happily ever after" without God's help and determination to make our marriages succeed.

What does it mean to be one flesh? It means when he hurts, I hurt. When I am happy, he is happy. We have a common purpose and we fulfill it according to our personal strengths. Where he is strong, I am weak. Where I am strong, he is weak. We complement each other and don't fight against each other. There should be no power struggle. That would be as silly as a war between a hand and foot.

We need to be two feet walking in the same direction, two hands playing the instrument of life in perfect harmony, two eyes with common vision and two ears tuned to the same frequency. But one heart and one mind.

I'm not claiming that either my husband or I are perfect in this area. There are times when the dailiness of life causes us to lose sight of our common purpose. However, Jesus said of His relationship between Him and His Father, which is what our marriages should reflect: "I can of mine own self do nothing." If you are called to marriage, neither can you.

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